Monday Poem

Rags to Richness
Jim Culleny

Sitting with a coffee in the morning sun
seeing the high ledges a mile off

We go up there to perch on edges
and peer down into the bowl
that cups our town’s tiny sprawl
into the creases and pleats between
the treed knobs of old mountains
—a serene sprawl
except when cars come full of pilgrims
with a taste for the quaint.
Then I can’t find a place to park.
Then there goes quaint.
Then it’s more like New York.

I glance down into my coffee’s dark-browness
into it’s french-roastedness, and think of Maxwell House.

How far I’ve come from
my mother’s ordinary
perked Maxwell’s
to free-market gourmet,
dark-roasted Dean’s Beans,
expressed, french-pressed,
or dripped.

How far up the food chain
from being the son
of a honey-dipper’s son
and bluecollar squirt, to being one
within easy reach of lattes
and cappucinos fizzed from pots
in our town’s surfeit of java huts.

Lattes and cappucino for the world of one,
cake and Maxwell House for the rest.