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Saturday, September 17, 2011


by Kim Baker

Cereal helps.
Especially Shredded Wheat
smothered with honey and blueberries,
And corn muffins, fresh from the oven
next to the table holding
up the weight of the newspaper
smoldering with World Trade Center
tenth-anniversary sentiment,
screaming with the kid struck by a truck
driven by a driver with a suspended license
and criminal record,
drowning with the tales
of the rain-soaked state of Vermont.

Mother never said living in the world
would require so much sugar.
Especially at breakfast.
Waking up used to be about
lunch boxes and algebra
and whether I’d be taunted
for carrying my cello to school.
A bowl of plain oatmeal was all I needed
to face that kind of day.

Now, pancakes help.
Especially with real Vermont maple syrup,
like Cousins Willis and Tina used to make
the way Augustus did before them
before the mortgage crisis and Hurricane Irene.
Tastes like the tree with the swing
that used to be down near the stream.
Tastes like tears.
And the amber odor of devotion and loss.

When she isn’t teaching the abundant virtues of the comma, writing about big hair and Elvis, and doing the Cha Cha, Kim Baker works to end violence against women. Kim performs in the annual Until the Violence Stops Festival Providence.  Her poems have been published online and in print, and she is proud to be a part of the Origami Poems Project.