A cardinal sat within the junipers.
Brilliant vermilion outlined in slate green,
he sang while I sliced up strawberries to add
to pancake batter. I had promised you pancakes
for breakfast. I keep my promises.
Butter melted on the griddle. I scooped out batter,
carefully I poured it down on the hot surface.
It hissed and the cardinal sang while the exhaust fan hummed.
I watched the bubbles come, develop a tip, then burst.
I slid the spatula beneath each pancake to flip it.
Not a single one was stuck. The cardinal flew for a second,
out, then back to land again amid the junipers.
When I was eight I vaulted over those junipers. My father made
our pancakes then. He never added strawberries or bananas.
Some day I’ll stir in peaches, without the skin
but with the flavor of every summer day we’ve shared.