Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Previously published by lingerings in 1999


You find your grandmother
sitting on the dusty antique shop shelf,
in a golden glazed rough-edged mixing bowl,
the kind they used to sell in the hardware
stores for cheap, so no one, back then,
paid them any mind, functional as they were,
in a kitchen like hers, where you made
what you could from scratch.

You are moved to pick the bowl up,
your fingers reading the low relief
on its sides, a house and garden:
as far from the tenement she lived in,
as you are now, from the calloused 
grip of her hand on your little arm.

You think maybe you’ll rescue it
from this place's clutter and chaos,
but then you look at the price,
and picture her tsking
and shaking her head.

Too dear, she would have said,
and you agree, putting it 
back on the shelf,
taking what’s free instead.

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