April is over. PAD is finished. We are back on the regular Wednesday poem schedule at Robert Brewer’s place — Poetic Asides.

This morning’s prompt, “The Boy Who (blank),” put me off. I think it was the Peter and the Wolf imagery the prompt evokes. The last thing I see myself writing is about a mischievous young boy running through fields bored out of his skull and crying wolf. I get enough of these shenanigans at school. So I guess my mind went all gritty on me. I spent time yesterday on my novel and I thought about its setting and title on the way to school on the bus. It takes place in a coffee shop. I was drinking home-ground Brazilian coffee. I took a sip of it as I pondered the prompt. The Boy Who Drank Coffee
fell from the heavens onto my page. Fine, now what? Why would a young’un drink coffee anyway? Maybe he is emulating his father. I hear some impressionable kids do this, imitate their dads — he’s a drunk and a thief so why can’t I be one too? It’s the family business. Well dad drinks coffee every morning, so why can’t he? It makes his father feel good. Maybe it is the one spark in his otherwise dark and dreary day. And maybe the boy takes his response literally. Maybe he thinks it is all the coffee’s doing. Maybe if only he can drink coffee, his life will appear as glorious as his father’s words. Maybe.

The Boy Who Drank Coffee

Four milk and six sugar please
Yes, in addition to what you have already added
I cannot stomach the taste of this black gruel
But my daddy drinks it
And he smacks his lips every morning after that first big gulp
And he remarks what a glorious day it is
Even if it is raining or snowing
Or the sun is not yet up
Or the birds are not singing
And the only sound we hear from the cold kitchen is turnpike whining
So load it up with sugar and milk
I want to experience this fabulous world, for the life of me
I can otherwise not see.

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