Photo by Greta Unetich
At the cottage, we had the same breakfast almost every morning: you had peanut butter and granola on a slice of sourdough bread so big we had to toast it by broiling it in the oven, and I had the same thing, except with bananas and seeds as well. Before we started making our breakfast, we would go into the sunroom as soon as we woke, still in our pajamas, to turn on the heat so that the room would be warm enough to eat in by the time we were done getting ready for the day and making our food. Then, I would shower, and you would change. We would both end up in winter sweaters and baggy jeans almost every day. When I walked back into our bedroom, your bright earrings would be the first color I saw all day. I would watch you smile behind your pink glasses, and then we would go into the tiny kitchen and make breakfast— preheat the oven, put the bread on a cookie sheet, cut up bananas, stir the oil into the jar of peanut butter, get the granola off of the shelf, wash some grapes and apples, make cinnamon and brown sugar coffee. When everything was done, we would put our food on a giant wooden cutting board I found below the sink, for no reason other than making it look nice, and carry that and some plates and mugs to the table in the sunroom. The seaglass we collected the previous afternoon was still scattered on the small glass table shaped like a boat, set out on paper towels to dry. Bits of broken, chipped, smoothed porcelain and red brick were mixed in with the blue, pink, green, and white-frosted glass. The room is painted a dark periwinkle, beginning to soften with the first light that can reach through the thick clouds outside. The sky is gray, and waves crash against the docks that dot the shore of the lake. It is November, and the year is growing cold, coming to an end like a blanket being tucked over it. The lake is beginning to freeze over, sitting still, getting ready to go to sleep beneath the gray clouds that cover the Finger Lakes for miles, east and west.
Your smile is the
Hue of the room, the bright glass,
Last light of the year.