A Baguette and Butter

In the Sixties on the South Shore my Irish grandmother Nana used to serve her grandchildren sugary tea and buttered Wonder Bread toast upon our return from parochial school. We dipped the crisp slices into the sweet milky tea and each bite revived our bodies and souls from eight hours under the nuns and the New England cold, as if we were long-buried vampires tasting blood for the first time in centuries.

This afternoon I purchased a baguette and butter.

At home I turned on the kettle, toasted the split demi-loaf, and listening to Leonard Cohen’s SUZANNE.

Time travel to 1962.

I rose from the table and mimicked my Nana preparing tea and toast for her six grandchildren.

I sat down, a youth of ten.

Lucinda Williams’ SUNDAY.

I first bite and I felt my school uniform.
White shirt, blue trousers, sky-blue tie.

My feet on my grandmother’s linoleum floor.

None of us speaking and Nana smiling from above.

Today I finished the tea and toast, but 1962 lingered on my teeth like sugary tea.

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