“Breakfast with Lorraine Hansberry” by Deidre Price

Poetry, Priceology / Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Breakfast with Lorraine Hansberry


Because you asked what the light looks like during my favorite meal,

lies clamber over one another to defend my domestic honor:

High pitched and head tilted, “She cooks,” they say.

It has been so long since I’ve prepared a meal for my family,

even my lies are lying these days.


I’ve even stopped scrambling eggs.

I hear Walter Younger echo in my kitchen: “Damn all the eggs that ever was.”

Am I Walter with his pocketful of dreams or Ruth, his tired wife?

This writing life turns me to Beneatha, “the one for whom bread is not enough,”

but I’m Mama, and there is God in my house some days, too.


I scroll through pictures of other people’s food,

first days of school with chalkboard reminders of who they were–

how tall, what grade, the teacher who will be another mother.

Meanwhile all these mamas keep looking onto other people’s papers

for answers these other mothers are maybe getting wrong, too.


I worry sometimes we’ll each find out we all had a different test

and feel regret so deep it chokes us out?

What if these manufactured clouds kill the one apartment houseplant our lives could afford

because we could not move it six inches to the right

because we were too busy making “all the eggs that ever was”?

Cappuccino, donut, eggs, and cheese grits for Atticus because these Legos aren't going to build themselves.
Cappuccino, donut, eggs, and cheese grits for Atticus because these Legos aren’t going to build themselves.
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