Coffee-Milk with Krishna

One of the great regrets of my life is that I didn’t get to know my great-uncle better; he died before I was old enough to make a start on that. He might have been the one person in the family who would have understood his kinda-rootless-poet distant relation.

Coffee-Milk with Krishna

Pink nylon gown switching at her ankles, she follows the voices
To the line of light under the office door.
Bald men in creamsicle robes drink coffee with Uncle Tony
At his chipped Formica kitchen table.

He boosts her onto his lap and names her to their smiles:
The daughter of his favorite niece and namesake.
For the first time she hears his and her mother’s name as one.

Someone finds a clean glass and fills it with milk
And a splash of coffee and sets it in front of her.
Both hands around her lukewarm glass,
She drinks coffee-milk with Krishna in a world suddenly grown larger.

(2014)

(photo: Wikipedia)

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