Fast Breakfast

I read that a typical Italian breakfast is 


A cappuccino or espresso 

and small pastry 

or roll,

I thought: that’s my preferred 

way to break 

fast, too. 
In the shops,

one usually stands at the bar 

to drink the coffee. 

No lingering 

at a table. 

I like that, too:

Moving quickly 

into the day

suits my pace. 
Today I walked 

Into the bustling pasticceria 

with the magnificent chandelier 

flinging light into every

corner with gleaming 

espresso machines 

and rows of liquors and

wines in their rows. 

Pastries plump with

creams and lightly sugared

artfully placed in the glass

I order in my weak Italian

and of course 

the response 

is a beautiful rapid 

stream of Italiano that I catch

only one or two words of

but I smile and say “Si!”

I stand at the black

marble bar

and sip my cappuccino. 
Directly in front of me

is the young man and

older woman ( his mother?)

swiftly pulling shots of espresso 

pouring water,

clearing dishes with a clatter. 

It’s fast and loud. 

I can’t tell if they are angry 

or not. 

But I gulp my pastry

as I feel their fast-energy 

pinging off the walls in the room. 
We are in a vortex of 

commerce and conversation 

with coffee fueling

us faster and faster. 

My coffee cup is empty. 

I pay in coins. 

Now, I exit the shop and walk into 

the new day. 

There are quieter spots. 

I will go 

in that direction.  
© Laurie Lynn Newman


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