Her Favorite

teaAll used cups – 99 cents
and there is one well-used
A bit delicate
A sharp lip
The floral design fading into china white

She drank her coffee black
I conclude with a tipping look
or perhaps a single sugar cube but certainly
this cup lived its life favorited

It has rested beside many morning papers
and accompanied many fresh tea-biscuits
here it is so sad so lonely
its friends saucer and spoon lost
at the bottom of a box in back

All these other stranger cups surrounding
most haven’t a clue how to be a favorite cup

You must meet her lips just so for
what you contain is both
a delight and dangerous

You must shape into her hands lovingly on cold mornings
and balance perfectly from her aging fingers
when her mind is engaged elsewhere

Your morning greetings should be bright and hopeful
reminding her daily of all she is likely to forget
– There is beauty in the world to savor today
– There is goodness in every drop of life
– There is truth to be stirred by even now

It is not an easy thing to be a favorite cup
you must endure many more scrubbings
than the visitors cups
and the thoughtful-gift cups
which say “Worlds Greatest Grandma” – loved but unused

You are far more likely to be dropped and chipped
so you must be stronger than the rest

and more than any other dish in the cupboard
you become part of who she is
until the day she dies and when
she does
the plates and bowls and holiday mugs
will always find a new home
you never will