The morning starts cold at his table, white sun and fresh milk.
The farmer sinks deep in the ridges of his chair, and his black coffee.
His wife makes the face she’s made twenty years and pours her tea.
I don’t know why you drink that, she says to the green-herb tea.
They hear Marjorie’s boy outside bang each knee with a pail for milk.
He and she breathe steam in the house whose walls breathe his coffee.
In his bones, the farmer feels a cold ghost, and black coffee.
They steep dark and pungent through him, like his wife’s bitter tea.
Once, the farmer carved this chair; built this house, brought in the milk.
Now, Marjorie’s boy puts milk on their table. Coffee is only as strong as he is. They are both tired of tea.