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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day Two of Thirty-One: Not My Mug

One of my favorite lines from a poem I wrote a long time ago was, "no cool on my coffee." I remember it was a time when I was really dedicating myself to writing more consistently for the first time and I had created a space in my basement. I would get up each morning before anyone else, sip my coffee, and write.

We had several coffee cups in our cupboard. Some were from my childhood, a few were gifts from students or friends, and several were from various vacations or trips. Perhaps my favorite mug was one of my great-grandfather's. It was small, thick, and heavy. The mug was off-white and there was a single green stripe across the top. It was actually quite difficult to drink from. When I would manage to get it to my mouth using the unreasonably small handle, I usually couldn't quite seal my lips well enough and coffee would slip through the corners. So impractical yet I loved that mug. It kept my coffee piping hot.

Not My Mug

It's not your fault
your stripe is wrong
and color vintage beige
but you are borrowed
not belonged
but I suppose you'll stay


  1. I enjoyed reading your poem. It reminds of coming in for a day of substitute teaching, searching the array of different mugs in the staffroom, desperately trying to not to use one that belongs to another teacher.

  2. So sad for all your losses, but what a beautiful way you are keeping your memories. Your poem reminds me of the false apology poems I love so much.

  3. This post made me think of how we have slowly discarded the "plain" mugs that came with the stoneware set we bought as a new couple decades ago, and how they have been replaced with "memory mugs". There is one inherited from my father-in-law that my husband used quite often, until our daughter discovered coffee in high school and made it her own. Lovely memories to ponder with our morning brew.

  4. Odd to small things. It is often the inconsequential and ordinary that best serve as a location of love for us.

  5. It is the little things --love how you wrote a poem about it. I have tons of mugs - all with different meanings. My kids try to analyze why I pick the mug I pick each day. Certain ones just fit my feeling for the day or the work I need to do that day. Thank you for sharing

  6. Good to know we both share a timeless love for coffee and the containers in which they grace our bodies! Ha! Loved the poem, Betsy :)

  7. I adore this poem (and the back story), Betsy. If I hadn't done all of my "be inspired" insertions already, I'd be asking you for permission to use this one!

  8. I connected to this in a couple different ways. On the surface, it had me thinking of my favorite coffee mug. No one else likes to use it so it's always waiting just for me. Like your special mug, it keeps my coffee hot better than all the others. But below all that, is the feeling of loss. I can't imagine how many times you have had these same types of thoughts with different objects. I love that this writing month can help you sift memories and heal wound. We need to swap our mugs for Biggby cups and share a chat soon. :)

  9. First of all I love the visual of you sitting in your basement every morning, hugging a cup of coffee and writing. You are a true inspiration to make writing a priority. I am also glad that you are able to reflect and write about the loss of your keepsakes. Writing the stories behind them is a beautiful way to regain what you have loss. I hope it helps in healing. Thanks for sharing.

  10. You write with beautiful detail and heart.