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Coffee Break
Anita S. Pulier


It’s 6 AM at the Y.
Seniors, up since 5, have made their way to the pool,
the treadmills, the water aerobics and yoga classes.

By 7 there will be a rush on the locker rooms, the Harried
with one eye on the clock, will reset the controls
to steeper inclines and higher speeds.

At 8 those who have deposited kids elsewhere will
mosey in adjusting spandex, debating the handling
of temper tantrums or parental controls.

New here, I plow through a trainer minted
routine filled with scripted promise:
to be perfectly realigned, find my center,
stretch my core and stimulate my brain,

none of which, despite decades
of classes and trainers, have I ever achieved.
Catching a glimpse of myself in a mirrored wall,

I grimace, check the slow-moving clock,
take a mindful yoga breath,
celebrate the wealth of choices still ahead,

ask the woman next to me,
the one I recognize from 6 AM water aerobics,
if she would like to quit early and join me for a cup of coffee.


From The Lovely Mundane (Finishing Line Press).
Used here with the author’s permission.

Anita S. Pulier is a retired attorney who, many years ago, traded legal writing for poetry. She and her husband, Myron, pursue a bi-coastal life between New York City and Los Angeles, where they are daily hikers in the NYC parks and the Santa Monica mountains. Anita has been very involved in the Southern California poetry community and, recently, even Myron (a retired psychiatrist) has taken up poetry! Anita’s poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals and her work is included in nine print anthologies. The author of multiple collections, her most recent is Paradise Reexamined. Learn more about Anita at





Post New Comment:
Jean Colonomos-1:
Anita's poem is my best laugh today. The poem is well built and I envy her ability to quit.
Posted 01/06/2016 02:15 PM
Shoshauna Shy:
I love the humor in this, but agree with Ross and Jancan that there should be pie or cake, something REALLY enjoyable, even a Cinnabon. Who said that a handful of M & M's takes 2 hours to burn away?
Posted 01/06/2016 02:03 PM
My sentiments exactly! Well done and amusing.
Posted 01/06/2016 01:13 PM
I love your poem. Have a piece of PIE with that coffee. LOL Janice
Posted 01/06/2016 09:29 AM
So poetic. So true!
Posted 01/06/2016 09:00 AM
Ross Kightly:
P.S. Coffee without cake is considered one of the other Mortal Sins - number 9 or 10 I think...
Posted 01/06/2016 05:20 AM
Ross Kightly:
Always up for the cup of coffee - not so sure about the exercise beforehand though... oops, time to catch the bus to town for my daily latte therapy session. What a superb poem - thank you!
Posted 01/06/2016 05:19 AM

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