I Hate Atolle

Every single morning
during my childhood
it seemed to be, we would have
atolle, an mexican style oatmeal
swimming inside
a large silvery pot with twin ear handles
squatted directly on top of the stove

red and yellow gas flames licking
the lower sides of the base
as if the kettle were
trying to tickle itself
into a heated frenzy

we never ate
ice cold milk
poured into a wooden bowl
waiting for a load of
dry mouth cereal
laced with sugar
to sweeten up
the start of another day

and the only time
we were supposed to eat
krusty kreme donuts
to nourish our bodies for the day
we got stuck instead with
day old pan dulce, mexican sweet bread
which was neither sweet
nor resembled a krusty kreme

and even when we had those
very special meat filled days
of mexican sausage or chorizo
mixing its red blood stained juices
with farm fresh yellow strips of eggs
and creating delicious chunks of meat-filled scrambled
to wrap your hot tortilla around

the next day was always…

“...I hate atolle, '
that oatmeal cereal watery paste
that seemed to be perpetuel burning
always on the back burner on our stove top
warning us that the morning was near
and atolle was on top of us
....one more time

and I had all but forgotten
winter school day mornings in Wisconsin.
when atolle cooking
arose those warm chest feelings
that simmered around my body
hugging my insides.

by Oscar Mireles

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