Charles Fishman


Don't you love good food and plenty 
of time to eat it? No clock to tick 
the mouthfuls. That, and you near me, 

The fire crackles down to its last 
embers.  The lake is still -- not frozen 
but held quiet by the steady hand 
of January.  You could drink in 
that quiet for a century and not be 

There! the flames rising again 
of themselves: a moment out of childhood 
when you still believed, the room -- 
gone dark and shadowy -- suddenly bright 
again, a dream you'd waked from and were 
now living. 

Don't you love it, the way each forkful 
eases you into morning?  Months 
we raced the clock, tempers hot 
and flaring.  And now, this food -- 
fried egg folded over mushrooms, 
sweet peppers -- 

the fragrance of onion and fresh 
dill soothing you again, salvaging 
something that had seemed lost. 

Copyright 1996, Charles Fishman 

Charles Fishman served as director of the SUNY Farmingdale Visiting Writers Program for 18 years and was the originator of the Paumanok Poetry Award. His books include Mortal Companions (1977), The Firewalkers (1996), Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust (1991), and The Death Mazurka (Texas Tech, 1989). Fishman is currently Contributing Editor for The Drunken Boat, a web-based poetry review, and serves as a poetry consultant for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. His many awards include a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (1995), the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize (1996), and the Eve of St. Agnes Award (1999). "Breakfast at the Lake" first appeared in The Firewalkers (Avisson Press, 1996) . 

Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2 

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