Poetry Breakfast

Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.


Dana Hughes

How Long O Lord – A Poem by Dana Hughes

How Long O Lord
by Dana Hughes

Because they were DOCTORS she said,
I believed they would help me, believed
in their knowledge, in their experience,
their Hippocratic oath, our common humanity,
for God’s sake.

They saw me arrive full and leave empty
again and again through years of trying
to bring just one child into the world
and they shook their heads and shrugged,

something about how these things happen,
it’s normal, nature’s way of taking care
of what isn’t meant to be, but after number
nine fell out in the fifth month, it seems they
might have seen

a pattern; done an exam before the end began
instead of after. If my color matched theirs,
they might have said CERCLAGE instead of SORRY
but we weren’t

and they didn’t, and my hands that ache to hold
the one thing in all the world that I would give
my life for are clenched rather than clasped
in prayer as I beg the Lord to forgive whatever it
was I did

to make those babies slip from my womb’s grasp.
I think of Sara, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth,
and wonder how many lives they lost, expelled
in a field or by a stream, not because they were barren,
but ignored.

*”Cerclage”, also known as a cervical stitch, is a treatment for cervical incompetence or insufficiency, when the cervix starts to shorten and open too early during a pregnancy causing either a late miscarriage or preterm birth.


About the Poet: Dana Hughes is a wife to one man, mother to three grown and perfect children, a minister, knitter, quilter, potter, and gardner, and who takes delight in arranging and rearranging words like a quilt being pieced of bits of this and that until the pattern appears.

Old Man With Cracker – A Poem by Dana Hughes

Old Man With Cracker

In a booth in a corner of a diner beside a woman
with smooth skin, an old man sat with a cracker
in one hand and a knife tipped with butter in the
other and he buttered that cracker from north to
south and east to west and all points in between,
and though he seemed to listen to the woman
while she talked and pushed things around on her
plate, it was clear he was preoccupied as he worked
the butter into every dimple, enveloping each grain
of salt in a creamy coat ‘til the cracker nearly groaned
with desire for consummation, methodically moving
ever-outward ‘til he reached the edge and stopped,
his thoughts drifting perhaps to a time when sailors
lived with the fear of sailing over the brink to where
ships plied the bounding main of sky and nothing more,
and what sort of shout would the mariners give to signal
the need to come about, as though ‘man overboard’ could
be expanded to include an entire vessel gone too far,
but then, half-smiling, he considered that if the cracker
was the earth and the earth wasn’t flat after all,
he was going to need a lot more butter.




About the Poet:
Dana Hughes is a wife, mother of three grown children, keeper of many pets, a poet, quilter, knitter, and keen observer of myriad aspects of life. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.  You can find her blog at



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