Breakfast Included - Poem by Morgan Michaels
Almost as soon as they sat down a pretty girl with skin the color of cinnamon appeared carrying a tray. On the tray were two platters, piled high with dark yellow eggs and toasted bread. These she set down on the table in the midst of a scatter of sunshine and shadow from the trees, together with a tall white coffeepot. Beside the pot was a blue stoneware bowl of sticky honey. Then she smiled, wheeled and left before either had a chance to say 'merci.'
Straightaway the table was rushed by an army of black and yellow-vested birds with long curved bills, that darted in from the neighboring trees, fearless and famished, turned-on by the honey-boat.
'Hmm, ' said Billy, 'honey birds.'
'Bananaquats, ' corrected Mitch. Peggy said that's what they are, and I suppose she knows. Nectar-drinkers. They're related to hummingbirds, only they can't hover.
'Oh. But can they carry a tune? '
Mitch didn't smile but shook his head, adding, 'non-migratory.'
'Not from this table, anyway, ' chuckled Billy, biting a slice of toast and chewing slowly. Together they watched the birds and drank cup after cup of powerful coffee, stirring in cream and tea-spoons of honey, until the pot was drained and Billy made Mitch walk the empty pot back to the kitchen for the refill. Soon he returned, the pot replenished.
There were lots on the table now, squabbling over crumbs, no longer a novelty. One of them lit beside a giant crumb, and, head cocked, looked up at Billy curiously- its shiny black eye alert for danger.Billy studied the bird back till it flew off.
Then, they read quietly for a time. Mitch read a history of the island. Billy read Pride And Prejudice. Every so often he chuckled. About half an hour passed and it began to get hot.
Then the girl from the kitchen came back with a slightly more business-like air, to collect the empty plates, and the birds scattered back to the trees, and the table-top seemed big and bare.
'Vous etes terminee? ' she smiled, showing her teeth.
'Si-I mean 'oui.' said Billy, 'merci, ' and they collected their things and took the steps back up to the room. Another perfect day.
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