Saturday, December 27, 2014

ode to homes of Christmas past

Quick,
before the images fade from view:
remember the tea kettle--
the sweet little red tea kettle,
cheerfully brewing your tea--
and the way that the tea cupboard looked
and the smell of searching for baked goods
in the pantry.

Imagine, for just a second,
if it will not break your heart,
the dip in the floor on the first step down
from the landing.
Remember the curve of the couches,
and the feel of the pillows sliding off
the slick leather,
and laughing because we store
the vitamins and wine in the same cabinet.

Recall the blue curtains on the French doors
and the table cloth from Ecuador,
or the one from Kolkata,
the international coasters--
touching Istanbul
and Madrid as you clean
the living room--
I. Am. India.

Feel for a second the feeling
of hanging your keys on the
row of pegs that always falls down,
and the satisfaction of all the mugs
lined up like little ducklings
on the kitchen ledge.
Remember punching in the
security code, pressing "Away"
when someone was still sleeping
upstairs.
Think of the feel of the carpet,
as you rolled around, laughing.
Remember the dinners with wine,
guitars and ukuleles singing.
And think of your thermostat,
taking the temperature of our home and hearts.

Who was crabby?
Who needed tea?
Who needed a knock on the door
and a listening ear?--
Or a shoulder to cry on or
just a bit of space to breathe.
Who was out shopping for retail
therapy?
Who had been gone from home since
6am?
And who was doing homework
late in the library?

The clutter on the kitchen counter
and the stacks of junk mail
always needing to be thrown away
were a lot more manageable
when living with four
broken images of the divine,
who each day, filled my cup
with tea and joy-
a good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and spilling over
into the spaces of my heart
that retain the memories
of how our kitchen smelled
of avocado toast and warm, sweet candles.

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