The Coffee Cup

Donald Hall
The newspaper, the coffee cup, the dog's impatience for his morning walk:
These fibers braid the ordinary mystery.
After the marriage of lovers the children came, and the school bus
that stopped to pick up the children,
and the expected death of the retired mailman Anthony "Cat" Middleton who drove the school bus for a whole schoolyear, a persistence enduring forever in the soul of Marilyn,
who was six years old that year.
We dug a hole for him. When his widow Florence sold the Cape and moved to town to live near her daughter, the Mayflower
van was substantial and unearthly.
Neither lymphoma nor a brown-and-white cardigan twenty years old
made an exception, not elbows nor Chevrolets nor hills cutting blue shapes on blue sky, not Maple Street
nor Main, not a pink-striped canopy on an ice cream store, not grass.
It was ordinary that on the day
of Cat's funeral the schoolbus arrived driven by a woman called Mrs. Ek, freckled and thin, wearing a white bandana and overalls, with one
eye blue and the other gray. Everything is strange; nothing is strange:
yarn, the moon, gray hair in a bun, New Hampshire, putting on socks.
Page 5, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 28