He doesn’t sleep through
the night any more. He’s up
before dawn most mornings.
In his kitchen he fills the Teflon
hot pot with water and places
it back on the stove, plugs it in.
His coffee cup is speckled white
with a band of red; it’s an early
commercial plastic prototype
from the 1950s. He may have
crafted the cup while in his job
in industrial research in Columbus.
He cradles jar of instant, spoons
a careful rounded teaspoon into
the cup. When the water boils,
he pours his first cup of coffee.
He lays spoon on the copper-
colored drip pan and places his
red hard plastic lid over the top
of the cup to hold in the heat.
From the top of the refrigerator
he takes down his weather record-
keeping materials. He puts on his
boots and steps out the back door.
He walks between the first two
water tanks, by the greenhouse
he built, and out along the path
to his weather station. He records
the night’s weather data and thinks
about the hot coffee waiting for him.
I miss mornings with Dad. I miss
seeing him and thinking about him
sitting at his desk in the kitchen –
thinking and figuring things out,
writing and planning. I miss his
coffee cup, its perfect lid, him.
Andrew Shattuck McBride
April 27, 2012