My Father’s Coffee

My father’s coffee is instant.
Boil some water, add the crystals,
stir, and there you have it.
For years now I have been the
imperialist prodigal
returning to my father’s house with
my own wife and children, and coffee.
I imported Costa Rica Peaberry and
Major Dickason’s and once some
chickory blend dark as
the inside of a whale.
My father would yield each time,
making allowances for my
far countrying due to his great love.
I would leave and he would
find again his Folger’s, like water
returning to a low spot.
I may have broadened his horizon
but I never changed his mind.
But now, with him at his age
and me at mine, I would much
rather be his son than sophisticated.
So from now until then,
when in my father’s house
I will drink as my father drinks.
In his house there is instant coffee.
If it were not so, I would have told you.

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  1. hisfirefly on April 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    yes, this

  2. simplysue on April 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Babette’s Feast – Are you asking me to choose one or the other? I choose both/and. I’m speaking, I know, without even knowing you. Yet, as I was told by a wise man, with whom I spent a week to explore one great tragedy of my story, “You’ve told us your story, and so I must ask the question because you have invited me.” In your magnificent poetry, you invite us into your home and show us around, which is both vulnerable and hospitable. I’ve gone from preaching to meddling:). Please forgive any offense that does not benefit you. I want to see your work in the world because it speaks your heart, having words to speak it.

    • thebeautifuldue on April 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Hi, Sue. No offense at all. Both/and is my preferred stance, and in my own home I will continue to explore, as I did this morning with a Dazbog blend that was out of this lovely world…but when I’m with my father, I’ve decided to drink his coffee. Its a coming back around thing – make sense? Maybe one of the smaller ways I can ‘honor my father and mother’ as an adult son.
      And btw, Babette’s is one of my favs! Have a wonderful day.

  3. Anita D. Sullivan on April 11, 2014 at 1:42 pm


    Being just the daughter is something wonderful for me. But how amazing it will be when my children expand my world and I can be broadened by them- not because I will need it, but because I will want parts of their lives to become mine.

    • thebeautifuldue on April 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Anita, I look forward to that with my children too…and like my father, I will gladly yield.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  4. Gwen Acres on April 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Coffee culture when it touches home and the heart…

    • thebeautifuldue on April 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks, Gwen. It does touch both, doesn’t it?

  5. Jane Spriggs on April 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for your poems… I had to chuckle, thinking how many times I have done this, and now my teenagers are finding their ways of doing things, finding the best, whatever… I smile and think, ah, the humbling of middle- age, when I don’t have to be right all the time and can allow others some space to be themselves.
    I appreciate your painting the pictures that allow for musing.

    • thebeautifuldue on April 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Jane, there’s a lot to be said for the humbling of middle-age, isn’t there?

  6. Ann on April 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Why did this make me brim?

    ah, that…
    “I may have broadened his horizon
    but I never changed his mind.”

    You, sir.
    Thank you.

  7. pastordt on April 11, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Made me brim, too, Ann. I think it is the tenderness from both father and son. Yes, I think so.

  8. vanyieck on April 11, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Fathers. Stubborn old men, but we love them anyway.

  9. Mark Foresman on April 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I absolutely love this poem. It tells the story of my dad and I too! “Like water returning to a low spot” I love this image. Thanks so much for this one.

    • thebeautifuldue on April 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Hi, Mark. So glad it struck a chord. Thanks for reading!

  10. Louise on July 31, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Just found this one as I’ve only been following you since about June. It is my favorite of all your pieces so far, though it’s hard to have a favorite, really. In so many ways this poem brings readers home. The layers keep flowing around my mind.

    • thebeautifuldue on July 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Hi, Louise. Its one of my favorites too. You said ‘this poem brings readers home’ – thank you so much for saying that, really, thank you.

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