An ode to Howard Schultz upon his return as CEO of Starbucks in 2008

Words cannot match feelings

O pure joy!

Your return to the helm

Of this mighty Arabica ship.

Things have not been the same

Since you’ve been gone,

No one knew beans.

Oh Captain, My Captain!

Continue your voyage on the unsteady seas of harpoons and business

With assurance that decaffeinated passengers like me will always come aboard.

Do you know each morning starts

Sluggish, halting,

Until a journey through your front doors

Tempts my senses to awaken?

Lively baristas clad in green and black robes

—symbols of brewery perfection—

Concoct steamy cups that runneth over

With caffeinated vigor.

A language all its own permeates in the air

As we patron saints of coffee

Sing our Starbuck’s song:

Venti non-fat latte, Doubleshot espresso, Grande Red Eye . . .

Pure aromatic music to one’s ears.

The moment my hand wraps around the brown sleeve of my rejuvenator,

I relax.

Your iconic mermaid stares at me as I raise my cup,

And I am sure I see her smile.

Sinking down into your purple velvet chairs,

I drift along the waves of the coffeehouse buzz

And people-watch.

Thriving souls

Sipping steamy, hot libations,

Savoring each drop, every word

There are no cliques here,

We all fit in, whether we see our cups half empty or half full.

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