Monday, December 05, 2005



Every single morning
during my childhood
or so it seemed we would have
atolle, an mexican style oatmeal swimming inside
a large silvery pot with twin ear handles
squatted directly on top of the stove

red and yellow gas flames licking the lower sides of the base
as if the kettle were trying to tickle itself
into a heated frenzy

we never ate ice cold milk
poured into a wooden bowl waiting for a load of
dry mouth cereal laced with sugar
to sweeten up the start of another day

and the only time
we were supposed to eat
krusty kreme donuts
to nourish our bodies for the day
we got stuck instead with
day old pan dulce, mexican sweet bread
which was neither sweet
nor resembled a krusty kreme

and even when we had those
very special meat filled days
of mexican sausage or chorizo
mixing its red blood stained juices
with farm fresh yellow strips of eggs
and creating delicious chunks of meat-filled scrambled
to wrap your hot tortilla around

the next day was always… oatmeal atolle oatmeal atolle

“I hate atolle,

and eating oatmeal
this cold March morning in upstate Vermont
I had all but forgotten
winter school days waking up in Wisconsin.
when atolle cooking
arose those warm chest feelings
that simmered around my body hugging my insides.

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