Early Sunday Morning by Edward Hirsch

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I used to mock my father and his chums

for getting up early on Sunday morning

and drinking coffee at a local spot

but now I’m one of those chumps.

 

No one cares about my old humiliations

but they go on dragging through my sleep

like a string of empty tin cans rattling

behind an abandoned car.

 

It’s like this: just when you think

you have forgotten that red-haired girl

who left you stranded in a parking lot

forty years ago, you wake up

 

early enough to see her disappearing

around the corner of your dream

on someone else’s motorcycle

roaring onto the highway at sunrise.

 

And so now I’m sitting in a dimly lit

cafe full of early morning risers

where the windows are covered with soot

and the coffee is warm and bitter.