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Coffee with a few heroes

It was Cedar City, Utah,
Easter week, snow blurring
my trail of footprints in the dim
morning light all the way
down the hushed street
from the motel to the café
where I ordered “Lots of coffee
please; I’ll make it worth
your while,” and cracked
my laptop open.

I would soon be at the wheel
and my best teacher ever
would be charting an alternate course
toward her New Mexico sabbatical.
I was adored by people
all over North America,
and for the moment
utterly alone,
no way to screw it up.

I was the only customer.
The waitress wanted music,
asked if that would be okay.
I knew I’d be distracted
from my poetry, but the moment
was too luminous
for stinginess. Bless her,
she put on a collection of those heroic
country women singers whose names
I never could keep straight,
and we sang along together
to “Crazy,” “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,”
“Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

It was all crystallizing into memory
at the same time it was happening,
and I just sat there thinking
this is so good I don’t even need
to wish that it would last.

all rights reserved Josephine Bridges ©2012-2013