If You Find a Mug

Warm it in the microwave

for 30 seconds

then fill it with bold coffee.

Flip it upside down

and press the rim into dough

for perfectly shaped biscuits. 

Turn it over

and read the stamp of origin:

England, Japan, Sweden, China


Balance it on the roof of your car

while driving to work.

Display it like a trophy,

“Best Mom in the World”

“Teaching is my Superpower”

“New York Marathon”

Juggle it.

Sell it in a yard sale.

Crush it to make art.

Write your first name 

and last initial

on the bottom with a Sharpie.

Hang it from a hook.

Stack it on a shelf.

Load it in the dishwasher.

Pass it down to your 

college-age daughter.

Place it on your desk,

like a vase

and fill it with newly 

sharpened pencils.

Store just-in-case-you-need-it

or I-don’t-know-what-this-is

items for safekeeping.

Let it be the first thing 

you hold in the morning.

And the last item

to touch your lips 

at night.

Based on a Kwame Alexander poetry exercise, The Write Thing, p. 152.

7 thoughts on “If You Find a Mug

  1. Such a simple thing, but so beloved! I’m a tea drinker and I love the feel of a warm mug cradled in my hands in the early hours of a school day. And I always need more places to put my “might-need-it-sometime” knick knacks. Thanks for sharing!


  2. The life cycle of a mug in your possession, I loved this so much, especially the endearing detail, “Balance it on the roof of your car / while driving to work.” and your last stanza, a detail of my own life that I had not paused to consider.


  3. This is such a great poem of ALL the ways of a simple object – a mug.
    I found myself learing so much about you and also smiling when I made a connection and said inside my head, “I’ve done that, too”. Accomplishing those two things as a writer makes this a great piece of writing in my opinion.
    Thanks for sharing!


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