Saturday Poem: The Coffee Stain

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I spilled coffee on my

Music

The day my mother died

As I watched the coffee stain

run and seep

It occurred to me

How much my mother

Loved hot, black coffee

Fresh-brewed coffee

Permeated her hospital room

It was her

Favorite smell

I did dab at it gently to salvage my

Handiwork but to no avail

the stain remained

The music paper eventually dried and became brittle

Reminiscent of parchment

Pencil in hand, I continued to write

It was not long before I realized

My writing cadence

Matched her breathing

It was unintentional

But she and I

Continued our accidental duet

For hours

As her breathing lessened

My urge to write waned

when she had nothing

Left to exhale and

My words were exhausted

Her song was written

—— Maureen Valenzi

Maureen Valenzi is a private piano teacher living in Sewickley. Her mother, Mary Donovan Vish, died last month at the age of 88.


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