Featured Writer of the Week: Erin McLean

The barista hands over your order,

I watch you take it back to our small table in the corner.

You’re holding the mug,


and I can’t say that I have ever felt so jealous

of a dark roast coffee,

until this moment.

You sip at it,

slowly at first,

as if you are calculating your next move with each sip.


I have always been of the opinion that

any situation can be made better

if I am holding a warm cup of tea.

But here I am,

looking at my steeped Earl Grey,

and you’re still saying that you can’t do this,

so somewhere

between that boring Econ class

and this chair I’m leaning back into,

I was wrong.


You stare at your coffee,

take another sip,

as if looking to it for some token of wisdom,

some understanding,

but it’s bitter

just like me,

Except I’m not the one that you want to hold.

You say tell me so,

recoiling with a face of disgust,

“Sometimes, I find though,

that after a couple sips

it gets better,” you remark.

“In that case,” I stare at you,

“tell me you can’t do this,

a few more times.”

You look past me,

apparently the espresso machine

knows what you want to say.

“And other times,”

Now you’re looking at me,

“it’s just bad coffee.”


As if to distract me,

from thinking about what kind of brew

she must be,

you begin spewing words at me,

words chosen at random

to fill the silence.

There very well may have been a proper segway,

but I was too busy looking at my hands

to notice,

and I’m not of the disposition to give you that much credit.

The next thing I know,

you’re telling me about how you found a pack in your dad’s jacket.

All I’m hearing is,

“I don’t want you” “I don’t want you” “I don’t want you.”

It is funny to me,

how you can sit here

and shame your father for his habits,

when you

are clearly no novice to burning things up.

I would laugh

if I wasn’t choking on all this smoke.


I need air.

You watch me stand up,

I feel your eyes on me,

but they are more searching

then how they used to be.


I leave my tea,

Even though it is no where near done,

But we are

And like my Earl grey,

I have grown cold

In the midst of this conversation.

Erin McLean

Copyright © 2015 Daniella Beca MyCompositionNotebook


2 thoughts on “Featured Writer of the Week: Erin McLean

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