At 5 A. M / Bryn Homuth

my wife snugs her blanket chrysalis
my daughter sleep-sighs from her crib
so I try to think of something

I might do to help the world,
in whatever small way a man could
bound by winter’s early-hour dark.

While I wait for the thought
I flip a stove-switch to light a corner
campfire, a shieldable glow,

and set to fry an egg.
Butter to pan flattens in coating melt
shell-split crack like distant lightning

yolk and albumen dive like lovers
into a pool, pellucid, then opaque.
I feather spatula under its edges

and, after turning, notice
the geometric possibility
of a perfect circle. A hunch

tells me this could be the first,
sounder even at the atomic level
than NASA’s quartz gyro

a mathematical revelation I should share
with science and the masses.
But, something about the smell

the plating on crusty bread
the fresh-milled crunch
of sea salt and black pepper

launches a canoe
to cross the river of hunger,
each bite a paddle stroke.

I glide through breakfast in this way
and, having extinguished kitchen, return
to my original thought

and realize—I’ve done it
though it’s a secret
best kept to myself.

The Poet

A husband and father of three children, Homuth grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and currently teaches at Agape Christi Academy in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. After earning a B.A. at Concordia College, he studied poetry writing in the M.A. program at Kansas State University. His work has received a Pushcart Prize nomination and was accepted as a finalist for the 2013 Best of the Net Anthology. In addition, he has been featured in various journals and magazines, including The Meadow, Red Earth Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Tishman Review, and in the collection The Way to My Heart: An Anthology of Food-Related Romance. Most recently, Homuth participated in Clearing Paths: A Darkly Bright Anthology of Verse (2021).

At 5 A. M.: Copyright 2021 by Bryn Homuth. All rights reserved.

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