Filling Cupboards

By Danielle Madsen

September 11, 2017

Filling Cupboards

You don’t start out with coffee cups. You start with single-serve espressos and chai lattes at the coffee shop around the corner from your co-op. But a coffee together after work becomes morning coffee for two. And, suddenly, you’ve moved in together and have cupboards to fill. So you do. 

Thrift-store ceramics sit by travel cups from when you gave up Starbucks for rent. Then your alma mater mug gets lost in the boxes you bring to your first house. You hide that god-awful teacup your brother-in-law brought back from Beijing next to a Rudolph cup that only ever shows up in spring. The one in front says: “World’s Best Dad” with stains from four-AM fillings but not a single scratch. None of your coffee cups match. 

When the first mug cracked, you thought it wouldn’t matter, but then they started to shatter. You end up, somehow, in battles over alimony and the kids’ college funds and that broken-down crockpot, and you forget to put your coffee cups into the divorce proceedings. When it’s finally over, you’re both too bitter, too broken, to give each other anything–even a worthless old mug. So they all get thrown in the trash. 

You never walk down to the bakery around the corner from your new condo, and you’re too used to two morning coffees to try single-serve espressos. So you fill the cupboards with rows of shiny new mugs. And all of your coffee cups match.

Comments (9) - Post a Comment
Love this. Such a perfect way to express the profound through the mundane.
Carol D Marsh at 8:17am EDT - September 11, 2017
Beautiful piece. Love the rhyming. Was that intentional?
Victoria at 8:49am EDT - September 11, 2017
The ways things symbolize our state...this is a beautiful piece.
Elizabeth Hilts at 10:54am EDT - September 11, 2017
succinct lovely. thank you.
Ola at 12:37pm EDT - September 11, 2017
I like this, very creative!
Tracy Line at 1:17pm EDT - September 11, 2017
As someone going through a divorce right now, I can attest to how painfully beautiful this is.
Vicki Mayk at 4:06pm EDT - September 11, 2017
I absolutely love this piece. From a reader as well as a writer's point of view.
Goretti Silveira at 12:16am EDT - September 12, 2017
Lovely and sad.
Autumn Shah at 11:32am EDT - September 13, 2017
I loved this piece.
Susan Pohlman at 8:32pm EDT - September 13, 2017


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