The Blue Mug
Cold day. I fill my favorite mug,
sipping the coffee that brings warmth. The heat lasts in this cup. Remembering.
My dad used to be the first one up,
shoveling coal in the basement. Starting the furnace.
That was a long, long time ago. Remembering, this cold morning.
I can hear my own furnace now, that starts with just a push of the button.
I remember how he “kept on keepin’ on” through the years,
Out to work, through uphill struggles, climbing up from shoe-shining at four and delivering bootleg at seven, climbing up to university and beyond, way beyond.
Re-membering himself and surrendering to what was.
Re-assembling himself and making the pieces come together for us, through injustice, through hatred , through rejection.
A piece of toast would be good. Dad always liked his apple butter.
I find the bread and hunt for the jam. Don’t find it. Give up.
I know he had to give up a lot, to surrender a lot. Surrender to gross injustice, to disappointment to humiliation. To being just one step away from rage, to re-membering himself.
Give in yes, give up no. He did that dance of surrender to love within resentment, to wholeness within brokenness, to serenity within frustration.
He did that dance of surrender in the name of clarity and truth, in the name of duty and goodness in the name of a Greater Love, he surrendered, but he never gave up.
The smell of coal dust comes back to me from baby years and mixes with the toasted bread. I warm my hands on the blue mug. It always keeps the coffee hot. Remembering, we were never cold, not for long.
Linda Beatrice Brown
© copyright, Linda Beatrice Brown