21 February 2010

The Ritual

After summoning Grandma
to be in charge of the toast,
Grandpa goes to work--
his tools are a large, empty
Cool Whip container (sans lid)
and various boxes of fiber-dense
cereal, mismatched by size
but situated and ready
on the kitchen table,
loyal soldiers
waiting for instruction.
He pours a generous amount
of Wheaties, then sprinkles
a half-a-cup of Wheat Chex.
He goes sparingly with the
Rice Crispies and is liberal with
the tablespoons of brown sugar.
His last step involves whole milk,
which he pours until the cereal
is barely seen. "I like it good and soggy,"
he says, and I cringe.
By this point, Grandma is ready
with the rye toast, darker than I
personally enjoy, but perfect for Grumpy.
He carefully applies the Country Crock
and leaves the burned squares vulnerable
on sheets of paper towel--
he knows the cats love
his breakfast as much as he does,
and again, I cringe,
but he breaks bread with his animals,
and he shares laughs with his babies,
and he is determined to enjoy.

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