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The first person who arrives at work
goes into the Farmhouse to make coffee.

It’s nine o’clock on a Friday morning
and none of the writers have come down
from their cottages yet: I like to think
of them snug in their sleeping lofts,
dreaming up ideas for their next novel
or poem or play or essay.

First, I fill the grinder with the
regular beans, three scoops full.
Next, I add three scoops of the decaf beans.
(They are darker in color and less oily,
I remember this from my training as a barista.)

The grinder whirs as I fill the carafe
with water and wait. Vito makes the coffee
best, I muse. He must have superhuman
coffee-making powers associated with being
Italian, as he does with parking and
bending the laws of space and time
when driving in his Prius.

As the coffee brews, I look through the
window over the kitchen sink and see
the crow who has once again returned
to wash what he has scavenged in the bird bath.

A writer arrives and cuts up an apple:
“I like to cross the road first thing
each morning and feed the llamas.”

“I swear they recognize the word ‘apples,’
if you call it out,” I offer.

We agree that the male llama seems to be
the ringleader–he’s more aggressive than
the other two, only allowing them to partake
after he has gently smacked down apple chunks.

Five shallow saucers filled with water
upon which flowers float adorn the
Farmhouse Table.

The light hits the table
at just the right angle and it is a light
for all writers, full of hope and possibility.

As I dump the coffee grounds into the compost,
I reflect on how nice it is that at Hedgebrook,
no one minds if you take a minute

to stop
& write a poem.