Sylvia rises, all smiles.
Buckwheat pancakes and sausage
sizzle in the skillet.

Breezing through the living room
to the den,

a baby under each plump arm,

she kisses Ted good morning.
He opens his bloodshot eyes.
His latest still in the Smith-Corona.

She lingers to read ‘For Assia’.
‘It’s good. Very good,

but what do I know, Teddy,’ she teases,

humming her way back to percolating coffee,
a bell jar bright with poppies,
a table already set.

She brings him a steaming cup.
He drinks.

The phone rings.

Poet laureate?
He accepts.
Sylvia is radiant

and returns to the kitchen
to make him a German chocolate cake.

She chants to the children underfoot,

‘One, two, buckle my shoe.
You do not do, you do not do
any more, black shoe … ‘

‘What’s that dear?’
the thought-fox calls.

‘Nothing…nothing at all,’

she laughs
and turns the oven on.