Cafe con Leche


Each time I go into a modern coffee shop 

I am immediately hit with the delicious aroma of coffee

and a faraway hint of cinnamon

Once again as with all coffee shops

I am whisked away to age seven

when we lived on a farm 

and my grampa Tranquilino

would be the first one up

before dawn on the cold-cold

San Luis Valley mornings


I would be the second one up

but only after he had started a fire

in the wood stove that heated up the entire house and when one stepped on the linoleum floor it was toasty warm 


Grampa would see me rubbing my still sleepy eyes and always asked me if I wanted some cafe on leche

by this time the aroma from the old steel coffee pot was in the air


I would nod yes and he would pour about a half cup of coffee and fill the rest with milk he would put in a teaspoon of sugar

and stir it until it was foamy

and then topped it off with cinnamon 


I felt so grown up because I was drinking cafe con leche 

the sun was barely rising

no one else was up yet

it was my special time with my grampa

Little did I know at age seven that

 two generations later I would be enjoying cafe con leche all over the world

not as good as my grampa's but okay

and I would be calling it Cappuccino or Latte depending on the amount of milk used

and a five dollar price tag 

Water color by Lisa Marina for a poem
called The Cornfield