Monday, October 10, 2011


every morning
right after she wakes up,
sometimes before she even brushes her teeth,
she shuffles into the kitchen
still half asleep
and makes a cup of coffee.

then she finds the paper
(you see, she gets them free)
skims over the headlines;
and the first thing she looks for
is the daily crossword.

then, she sits at the table,
coffee cup nearherlefthand
pencil in her right,
completing the puzzle,
sipping on the coffee now and then.

you should see her as she does it.
kind of funny, to be honest.
she will stare intently at the clue
and then at the spaces,
take a sip of coffee
chew her pencil a bit
pucker her lips, deep in thought.
first one word
then another.

if she thinks she has the answer,
she lights up.
then carefully pencils in the word
not too dark, just in case
it may need to be erased.

first she does a quick run
through the whole puzzle
to see if she knows any off the
top of her head.
and then she
this time slower
pausing to ponder every clue
mull over words in her head
maybe try to fit a few words
before moving to the next.

she does this every morning,
its become a routine.

she loves it
she likes the constancy of  it.

the king?
well, that was given to her
by her great grandmother
when she was just a wee child.
Baba had said
"sunshine, take this to heart.
find something you love and enjoy
and make it a daily occurrence
works best if it starts
or finishes your day.
be just like a king.
stuck in his daily rounds
and long-practiced habits.
every day either begins or ends
exactly the same.

this way, sweet child,
when life becomes chaos
and turns upside-down
or inside out
or becomes too much to bear,
you will have a lifeline.
something to fall back on,
to keep you mostly sane
and to tie your days together."

so every morning
right as she wakes up,
she locates her king.
and when she finds her paper,
she sets him atop it,
or very near it.
he reminds her every morning
of great-babas wise, wise words.

she says it works.
says its easier to live
when you know
that no matter what each
day will bring,
the mornings
will always be the same.

i wont be surprised
-id be delighted, actually-
if ten years from now
she still solves that puzzle
every day but sunday.


JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

with so much things happening around us now, i guess it is better to give our brain an exercises on puzzles to be prepared for the day. rather than, get sad with headlines and so...

nice one! :-)


Brian Miller said...

this is an incredible piece of made me smile in her ritual habit and the little nuances you added along the way...very nice...

Kathy Bischoping said...

I enjoyed the suspense of waiting for the king to enter.

Heather said...

This post makes me sigh with contentment at her morning routine. So perfect.
I am back, I think. I'm sorry to have left, I've missed you all.

Brian Miller said...

disheartened that she had not found something greater to love? i like the tweeks...

The Cello Strings said...

sad, well told story on her.

Mary Ann Potter said...

A nicely written slice of life! I especially like your use of lower case letters and detail! An effective characterization.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Excellent write - I like the way I had to read it slowly as if echoing the steady pace, the necessary routine of life.

Anna :o]