Slice of Life: “Breakfast of the Birds”

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Earlier this week, Tricia Stohr-Hunt posted this painting, by Gabriele Münter, on her blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect:

Gabriele Münter, Breakfast of the Birds, 1934; © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn - See more at:
Gabriele Münter, Breakfast of the Birds, 1934; © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn – See more at:

Tricia invited her readers to write an ekphrastic poem to go along with this painting. I was intrigued by the contrast between the birds socializing outside and the woman sitting down by herself inside. Here is my response:

This morning our old
chestnut tree,
the one you planted
all those years ago,
is wrapped in a cloak
of fine white snow.

Goldfinches and robins,
like confetti scattered in
celebration of the coming spring,
brighten its branches
as they serenade me:
“cheer-up, cheer-up, cheer-up.”

How do they know
that some days are worse than others,
and that this morning,
I miss you more than ever?

© Catherine Flynn, 2016

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts. Also, be sure to visit Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

17 thoughts on “Slice of Life: “Breakfast of the Birds”

  1. Catherine, what a beautiful poetic response to this picture. It’s perfect. I read it and thought, “Well, of course. That’s what it’s about.” What a beautifully crafted piece from start to finish. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine, this is so beautiful. Your “chestnut tree” grabbed me and with the “coming of spring,” “goldfinches and robin,” singing their “serenade,” I stepped into your poem — all those things speak to me of my mother, and when winter becomes spring each year, I miss her “more than ever”; I am the woman at the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Catherine, you made that painting make perfect sense, every bit of it. I love the birds saying “Cheer-up” and knowing how much effort the narrator is putting into trying to obey. Some days remembering is more important than a gleaming, skin-deep smile.

    Liked by 1 person

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