Mudlark No. 51 (2013)

The Way I Learned to Love

I was holding a chick in one hand 
when I was given my first cup of coffee
in the other. This was deep in the bush,  
where coffee was served thick black 
with a pot of warm water, to cut it to taste. 
I did not want to let the chick go, to free 
my hand. So I drank the cup straight, 
without adding water, without the sugar  
children were allowed. That chick was 
broken-legged and tame, it wouldn’t 
have run away. But I couldn’t risk losing 
the softness I had grasped. And now I never 
consider water, because I have two hands and
got a taste, too, for the burning and strong.

Rose McLarney | Into Another
Contents | Mudlark No. 51 (2013)