Chilly mornings, he's in the house again,
the kitchen, that guy with the huge, black hat,
cowboy-like but off-kilter, the hat concealing,
also, cascading, moppy hair, and under his chin,
wow, is a puffy neck-ware object.
That's him, the breakfast guy from decades ago
in yet another yearly comeback.
Grown up, we learned he was a Colonial Era Quaker,
but to us kids he seemed Roy Rogers on a gambling lark,
that puffy cravat the tip-off about shady behavior.
He was rotund then, ten inches tall, in a blue cardboard
container, a kind of household mascot.
On a scuffed wooden counter, a chipped porcelain
saucepan boiling beside him, he reported for duty.
He beamed, beamed a hi-there! wake up
to stay-at-home moms, and flannel pajama children,
welcomed Dad with a great-day-to-be-up-and-out,
to sell a veteran and his wife a modest bungalow.
Eat up, his eyes and smile said. Get going, be useful.
I'm your energy, especially strong paired with edge-burned
toast and slabbed-on butter. Plus, I'm pure. Daily,
J. Edgar Hoover grins back at me, spooning me up.
These days the Quaker guy arrives in a square-shaped
box with apple-cinnamon and other envelope flavors.
He's nuke-able, yet he commands an ongoing following:
Your uncle Max, 85, just strode out his back door
to take on some serious leaf-raking.
At your local school, your young neighbor, Emma,
in her orange and yellow crossing guard garb, stands
in the street with a paddle, bringing to submission
a screeching 18-wheeler-semi.
They're ready, Max, Emma and others like them,
confident, as wholesome as what they ate, starting the day.
They're doin' good. They've had their oatmeal.
© by Richard Swanson.
Used with the author’s permission.