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A Straight Shot Between Friends

By Bonnie Larson Staiger

after Margaret Haberman’s “How to Make Espresso”

In the center of the continent
my landlocked coffee machine
gurgles and spits manna
and crema in my insulated mug.
Not bad actually – ranks about
an 8 out of 10 on your scale.

Not quite Starbucks – my usual
Grande triple extra-hot latte
but cheaper and besides
I can stay cozy at home for my
pre-dawn jolt of caffeine.
My own foam on my lip.

I imagine you greeting
a ruddy turnstone as you part
sea foam in an early AM
swim along Maine’s shoreline –
as familiar to you as the Plains
and sharp-tailed grouse are to me.

If we draw an imaginary line
from Bismarck to Rockport –
our latitudes vary not 6 but less
than 2 degrees of separation.
A straight shot of espresso
from here to there.

Bonnie Larson Staiger is a North Dakota Associate Poet Laureate, the recipient of the ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Prize (NDSU Press, 2018) and the ‘Independent Press Award: Distinguished Favorite’ (2019) for her collection, Destiny Manifested. Her second book In Plains Sight, is forthcoming from NDSU Press in 2021.


Archive, The River

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