Coffee Courtship

Coffee Courtship

Anne White

Coming together late in life,
we linger over coffee, savor time and talk,
two separate brews reminding us of our separate lives,
habits formed now spilling over into morning coffee shared.

His brew requires a daily ritual, sacred and intense:
Set the grinder growling, filled with satiny, fresh-roasted beans.
Add near-boiling water. Watch it drizzle gently down
the narrow neck of the glass carafe, as if by alchemy
transforming water into luscious amber satisfaction.

For me, he makes a cold press Witches’ Brew, steeped overnight,
no early morning fuss or muss, just heat and serve.
A feeble substitute for proper coffee, in his view,
but he indulges me because he knows it smooths my cranky edges,
whets my appetite for eggs and toast and tender talk.

Still, he coaxes me to join him in his quest
for pure, delectable perfection. “Just take a taste of mine,”
he urges, offering his favorite trophy mug, reminder
of a tennis tournament he won in 1982.

I bury my nose in the steaming mug, aromas rich with promise.
I take a sip and close my eyes to concentrate and appreciate.

He watches, waits, anticipates . . . and finally pops the question:
“How’s the coffee?” he wants to know. “Is it the best ever?”

I hesitate.
Shall I play with him or tell him what he wants to hear?

Anne White

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