“Making You a Latte” – Poem by Elizabeth Blue

Making You A Latte – by Elizabeth Blue

latte, yoga, grief,

Latte made for Elizabeth by Sam

6.3.12
5-Close Corral Shift (at Time Market/Cafe in Tucson, AZ)

{One of Elizabeth’s last poems, written when she’d finished chemo, was in remission, and was just beginning to tell people that she’d had cancer. She had wanted to get through treatment and live as normal a life as possible, not having people pity her or treat her differently. This shows some of the sacrifices involved…and we discovered the cancer had returned only about a week after this.}

I’m making you a latte and I’m being paid minimum wage and you’re not going to tip me no matter how well I foam this milk.
You’re asking about our bagel selection and I’m making love in New York.
You’ve decided you would like a muffin, to go, and I’m editing my first thesis.
You’re in need of napkins and I’m being painted in Paris.
I’m staring out the window onto the patio and I’m crying.
You want ice and the ice machine hasn’t been filled yet and I’m getting married in the desert.
You want another latte and I’m crying wet hot embarrassing tears at 7:30 in the morning because all my yoga teachers are out there, on the patio.  And I miss them.
I miss them because I haven’t been to yoga since I started chemo and lost all my hair and confidence and beauty.
And yoga was my first love.
Even before Andrew.
And I miss it so much my heart aches and seeing the people who I practice with outside that window…they’re all together and smiling and happy and when they came inside they were all so excited to see me and they don’t know why they haven’t seen me in forever, because I never told them I was sick.
And they don’t know how much I miss them.  And their not knowing just absolutely breaks my heart.

I’m betting all the time at work.
I’m betting that the children I imagine having when I see young mothers come in, I’m betting that those (my) children are possible.
I’m betting that the weight I gain from pizza will someday melt away when I regain control and stop eating.
I’m betting that the hours I spend imagining the guy I like/love, riding by on his back are not wasted because someday they’ll make his eventual interest in me all the more exciting.
I’m betting that all the lessons I’m learning while getting paid $7.65 an hour are worth it, that I won’t forget them or this summer.

Elizabeth Blue © 2012

8 thoughts on ““Making You a Latte” – Poem by Elizabeth Blue

  1. Her writing, her talent, her honesty take my breath away. And through it, she heals and inspires all of us who read it. It’s her legacy, her gift. Very, very powerful.

    • Thank you Fransi – it’s so good to hear all of this. Knowing she continues to heal and inspire others means so much to me! Especially coming from you, who writes so well yourself. blessings, Lucia

  2. I’m thinking how mundane it seems to be making lattes and handing over bagels to a morning rush hour crowd, and how people don’t see each other (why pay attention to someone who’s making $7.65 an hour?) and how life is lived in your being, not in your doing.

    And I am very, very glad that ever since Philip died, I’ve taken to looking into the eyes of anyone who’s serving me, of smiling and saying thank you, and of leaving a dollar whenever there’s a cup near a cashier. Gestures, all…because knowing there are real people living real lives both in and out of their barista uniform reminds me there are things that matter.

    • So lovely that you’re attuned now to notice all the people around you…and this poem reminds me how we never know what goes on under the surface of these people we interact with each day – someone may have just lost a loved one, found out they have cancer, is getting a divorce… so I try to remember we are all complex beings and that small acts of kindness can go a long way!

  3. Wow, Lucia. What gifts you and Elizabeth continue to share. Although I do not comment often all of your posts really touch me (especially your recent one about your complicated relationship with her- isn’t that always the way with family. We really never know anyone’s story, since it is hard enough to know our own. Thank you for continuing to share.

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