Two tables over in the restaurant,
one child is pouring the contents
of the salt and pepper shakers
into the small pitcher of half-and-half.
She tears off the ends of the small tubes
of sugar and sweetener; then she pours
the juices from the bowl that may have held
soup or salad. She stirs with a wooden stirrer.
The grownups in their chatter
are oblivious. She and another child
next to her take turns sipping
and making faces. They hold out this
concoction and mouth the pleading
syllable. Now, we can hardly wait
to see what it will look like—
that moment of discovery.