Connie and Ted at the Brunch

Again it’s Sunday morning

in the City of the Rose

Time for leisurely brunches

in business casual clothes

 

A time for eggs and bacon

A time for Bloody Mary,

Good times for even those who

don’t eat wheat or dairy.

 

Couples riding bicycles

to their favorite brunching spot

where the mimosas are so cold

but the cakes are always hot.

 

But today was quite unusual

in the winter of the year

For snow and ice had fall’n

and the roads had not been cleared

 

A blanket of chilly white

had covered all the trees

and legend tells the grounded snow

went halfway to your knees.

 

And from this stage we see

our heroes Connie and Ted,

a couple married fifteen years

with grey atop their heads.

 

For fifteen years each Sunday

through rain, wind, and hail,

they went to brunch at 10 am,

precisely without fail.

 

It was their weekly ritual,

much more than a routine

for Ted to have his biscuits

and gravy from a tureen.

 

And Connie would peruse

upon the specials board

to find the intermittent dish

that would meet with her accord.

 

Last week it was lemon cakes

served with hash-ed brown

And both of them had coffee,

strong and black, to wash it down.

 

They wanted to go back there,

where the chef served with such skill

but that warm and lovely bistro

lay three blocks up the hill

 

They gazed out the frosted window,

in their woolen sweaters warm

and wondered if their brunching streak

would be broken by this storm

 

“Look at it out there,” said Connie,

with a voice full of concern,

“I don’t think we should go today,

but next week we’ll return”

 

“Utter nonsense,” said Ted,

“It’s just a little snow.

Why, I used to see this all the time

for I’m from O-hi-o.”

 

“That’s true,” said Connie,

with her tone of complete reason,

“But that was twenty years ago

when you could drive in the freezin’.”

 

“Let’s stay in,” she said,

“I’ll make brunch on the stove.

“Maybe a golden stack of pancakes

with orange-rind zest and clove.”

 

Ted listened to his wife’s pleading

and smiled a little smile,

“Dear, you’re quite exaggerating,

it’s not even half a mile.”

 

“Besides, my love, we

haven’t cooked in so very long.

The ingredients in the kitchen

are both tragic and quite wrong.  

 

Twas true, what Ted said,

much to Con’s chagrin.

You cannot make a pancake

with black olives and sloe gin.

 

So toward the car they trudged

double bundled for the weather,

and slid inside the Fiat 500

they owned jointly together.

 

The car started sprightly,

an engine roaring fine,

and Ted cautiously shifted gears

down to the orange “R” line.

 

But reverse, on ice, is tricky,

and Ted took it very slow,

so slow, in fact, that some would say,

the Fiat did not go.

 

“The driveway’s too icy,” Connie said

“We won’t make it to the street.”

But Ted snapped fingers and grinned

with an idea for their feet.

 

“Remember seven years ago,

when we went east to Vermont?

To meet with college friends from long

ago in the places we used to haunt?”

 

Connie remembered, “The skis!

We used them but the once!

Cross-country style, I do believe,

and you looked like a dunce.”

 

“Well, yes,” he said, “Upon those skis,

I did look much unskilled.

But today, my love, for Brunch!

I shall be iron-willed.”

 

And so he climbed up up up

to the topmost of the shelves

where lived a set of Christmas lights,

plastic Santa and his elves.

 

Two sets of skis, his and hers

plus matching poles of steel

They adorned them with their will

to have mid-morning meal.

 

At first they were unsteady,

wobbling, crashing, falling,

but both our heroes straightened out,

because their brunch was calling!

 

One ski forward, at an angle

with one more ski behind,

inch by inch, foot by foot,

they started out the grind.

 

Ted had longer legs and skis,

he started out ahead,

but Connie was more skillful

and would soon lead instead.

 

One block done and behind them,

and halfway up the second,

their palates flush with the promise

of the new tastes which beckoned.

 

Maybe today it’s a veggie scramble

with onions, kale, and brie

Maybe something heartier, like

Korean waffles with Earl Grey tea.

 

Their minds wandered on possibilities

as they finished the second block.

But suddenly, without warning,

Ted’s right ski scraped a rock!

 

He tumbled, tumbled, down the hill,

while Connie could but watch.

as Ted snowballed two whole blocks

and took a steel pole to the crotch.

 

“Honey, are you OK?” she cried,

“Can you ski, are you able?”

He said, “My darling Connie, go ahead,

and get us a nice table.”

 

Her mission cast, in determination

she quickened up her pace

for one more half block up the hill

while wind blew in her face.

 

And with mighty effort, she arose

atop the great hill’s crest,

with a heart quick with hunger

and wheezing from her chest.

 

Just two doors away the sign

of their little bistro in the snow,

But as she approached closer,

she cried, “Oh, God, No!”

 

A little note was scotch-taped

to the front door made of glass

and it read “So sorry. Closed today.

Our chef fell on his ass.”

 

“The ice it was too much, you see,

and the weather cold and bleak.

So for our safety, we have closed.

We’ll see you in a week.”

 

And Connie looked for other bistros,

dive bars, diners, taverns,

but for brunching, Alberta Street

was as barren as a cavern.

 

Somewhere, there are waffles,

with butter, sugar, maple.

People drink mimosas,

in pitchers brought to table.

 

This morning, there is happy brunch

in a less snow-infested town.

But there is no joy in Portland

For Brunch has been closed down.

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