Hills Brothers Coffee


Luci Tapahonso

My uncle is a small man.
In Navajo, we call him, "shidá'í,"
my mother's brother.
He doesn't know English,
but his name in the white way is Tom Jim.
He lives about a mile or so
down the road from our house.
One morning he sat in the kitchen,
drinking coffee.
I just came over, he said,
The store is where I'm going to.
He tells me about how my mother seems to be gone
every time he comes over.
Maybe she sees me coming
then runs and jumps in her car
and speeds away!
he says smiling.
We both laugh - just to think of my mother
jumping in her car and speeding.

I pour him more coffee
and he spoons in sugar and cream
until it looks almost like a chocolate shake.
Then he sees the coffee can.

Oh, that's that coffee with the man in a dress,
like a church man.
Ah-h, that's the one that does it for me.
Very good coffee.
I sit down again and he tells me,
Some coffee has no kick.
But this one is the one.
It does it good for me.
I pour us both a cup
and while we wait for my mother,
his eyes crinkle with the smile and he says,
Yes, ah yes. This is the very one
(putting in more sugar and cream).
So I usually buy Hills Brothers Coffee.
Once or sometimes twice a day,
I drink a hot coffee and
it sure does it for me.

From Sáanii Dahataal The Women Are Singing by Luci Tapahonso, University of Arizona Press.
© 1993 Luci Tapahonso

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