This is the ritual each
time I visit

my father's thinning hands 
inscribe the air in an economic collation 
of tools: flame pot spoon powder milk and 
mug. A lifetime efficiency of sympathetic magic.

I sit in a silent halo under the
kitchen light, watching while my 
father speaks words. The spoon dips, lifts, 
sifts and stirs, stainless steel maintained 
for years, glints and light clinks, milk and 
powder measured in a perfected practice
    that mug was blue when
I gave it to him as a child, it has chipped, 
clipped, smashed and shattered - the ceramic
a speckled white from his
meticulous repair. I have given him
new ones and they sit in unopened
boxes because 
              he says
"they are
too nice to use." 
                  smiles to himself. 
I ask him about that and 
                         he just says 
"your great-grandma used to say
the same thing."

My father gives
me the broken cup.

It does not leak
but it is not easy 
to drink from.

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