Summer House: Purpose



In  my grandmother’s kitchen,
everything had a purpose.
Everything had a place.

Two steps, turn.
There’s the fridge.

Two steps, turn,
to the stove.

The sink,
the dish rack,
the cotton towels
with each check
in place.

But inside,
in the noisy
jumbled darkness
of the ever chattering mind
the clutter rushed
with every shattering
flash of light:

A nightgown soaked
red with blood.

A child’s name
never spoken.

An empty carton
of cigarettes
a shot glass,
a gin bottle,
broken on the tiles.

No purpose.
No place.

My grandmother
never showed
these dark corners
to me, except
when it was
nearly too late.

In one rushed
confession, the words
tumbled out.

It’s okay, Grandma. 
Shhh. Shush.

My kitchen has no
center of order.
The spices spill
over the counter–
sage and cinnamon
mingling in scent.

The fridge stands too far
the dishes piled on the table.
The empty paper bags
nestled in the corner
with the spider web
and dust’s dandelion fluffs.

But inside,
in the quiet
perfect darkness
of the everstill night,
there is no purpose.
There is no place.

No walls,
nor borders,
no barriers,
no duty.

Only the quickening
pulse of life
that surpasses
any sense
the mind
might impose
in chaos
or order

Only the felt sense
of now.
Of presence.

I am the grandchild
of a woman with outer order,
only my peace lies

<< Previous | Next >>