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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 19 page 22

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Oatmeal

by Mark Martyre

It's often in the evening
as another fruitless and tiresome day comes to an end
that I'll make myself some oatmeal
before closing shop for the night

And often, when I make oatmeal
I find myself thinking about her
as every dry morsel is dropped into the bowl
and as each oat is soaked by the boiling water

I remember how she loved that mushy stuff
adorning her warm meal with raisins
maybe a spoonful of peanut butter
maybe she'd throw in some blueberries for good measure

I would wake up some mornings and see her
sitting, and curled up, on the couch
reading the news and eating her oatmeal
still wearing the oversized t-shirt she slept in

And some nights we'd come home late and hungry
“Do we need to get groceries?” I'd ask
“No,” she'd answer with a smile
And we'd open the cupboards to find only a bag of oats

Maybe it's just the silence and solitude of the evening
the darkness and coldness of another lonely night
that finds me sitting with my bowl of oatmeal
thinking about her, and her oatmeal too

Though I know it's never as simple as that
and that there's probably someone else
that's waking up and seeing her on the couch
or asking her about groceries

While I just hang on to the bag of oats
in an otherwise empty cupboard