• Fearsome Critters

The mug my mom probably just got from Marshall’s back in the early ‘90s — Elena Ender

It’s a fact that coffee tastes better in that simple blue mug with the perfect-sized handle

that you stole from your mom when you went off to college.

It finally fits your hand like it fit your mom’s every morning

when she would brew a fresh pot to wake you up with your favorite scent.

It was glued to her palm when she sat at the kitchen table,

towel wrapped around her damp hair,

planning her day, her week, her month in advance.

It is the ocean to the sand of her sparkly taupe manicure,

the color that perfectly complements her dark Hawaiian skin.

It is the same shade of dusty blue that she painted the walls of her kitchen,

a blue that matches her portrait of the original Ruby’s Diner at the edge of Balboa pier,

something to adapt her seaside childhood to her current inland address.

Your mom’s mug loves Thursday rain during Christmas break

and summer fire pits with patiently browned marshmallows

and late-night Seinfeld reruns

and Sunday morning crosswords in pen.

The mug feels best in your hands when you’re honest

about the amount of cream you like in your coffee,

because your mom unashamedly pours her half-and-half until her coffee is blond.

The mug knew when you pretended to like your coffee black;

it didn’t judge you, it just wanted you to be happy.

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