With gratitude and apologies to the Man of Mystery himself, Edgar Allan Poe:
Once upon a morning dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a table of database and lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a dripping,
As of something gently dripping on my kitchen floor.
‘It’s my coffeemaker,’ I muttered, ‘dripping on my kitchen floor.
‘Only this, and nothing more.’
Clearly I’d been drinking, because what the heck could I be thinking,
Thinking oh so foolish that coffee dripping bleakly on the kitchen floor
Was nothing, nothing more?
For nothing else gets me going through the mornings
As they’re borning of the dawn peeking so slyly through my kitchen,
My open kitchen door.
The Basset charges yapping with his ears in constant flapping, demanding that I watch him trapping black birds in the yard. Teenaged boys charge through the kitchen, shouting, ever shouting, wanting breakfast, always breakfast as they mud up the tile floor.
My husband lies there snoring, not adoring, as he lumbers ever further from dreamland’s distant shore. Snorting as he slumbers, he sounds not like a lover as a CPAP in his future hovers closer ever more.
Without coffee quickly coursing, quickly coursing through my veins
I could not survive the commute crawling, gently crawling on the freeway
That finally delivers me to my shiny office door.
Java keeps me sunny as I watch the scofflaws slumming through the HOV, laughing, ever laughing as they speed by with passengers no more. My travel mug contains me as the patrol cars do the breaking as accidents unwind in the breakdown lanes as before.
At the office as I sit tapping, oh so gently tapping on my keyboard (I’m not napping!) as I answer mail clacking, caffeine keeps me laughing while I type out 20 more.
Phone calls do not faze me though the callers still amaze me as they wonder, ever wonder, ‘bout the numbers I explore. I shine through countless meetings, droning, always droning as we seek to know the meaning of the numbers at their core. But I’m finding I’m not minding as I never need reminding that all of it is nothing but the beans and nothing more.
I lurch home in the darkness growing, ever growing, knowing I must replace Mr. Coffee at the store. But the store closed as I worked late, and so I ponder my fate as I think about the morrow, growing closer, ever closer with a busted coffee pot in store.
Starbucks sounds appealing but the drive-thru line’s congealing and I beseech the wait staff with my pleading looks and more.
‘Wretch,’ I cried, ‘Howard Schultz hath lent thee — by Juan Valdez he has sent thee
respite — from my kitchen to your store! Quaff, oh quaff this kind espresso, and forget my Keurig, lost in lore! May I finally get some joe, in a cup that’s good to go so I can hop into my car and do my driving chore?’
Quoth the barista: “Sure! Shall I pour more?”
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.