Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Wanted: Cast Iron Sink with Drainboard"

My time in front of the screen is limited.
The pixies are playing, but one has begun to smell like something gone rancid.
They have taken out the kid-safe flatware, and are moved on to adult forks and spoons.
I have minutes until the knives emerge, so I hastily search for farm sinks.
I run my finger over the screen where the white cast iron's gone rusty.
And picture the cottage where it might've been first installed.
The babies bathed there must have been quieter than mine.
They must have played the piano with skill, no vague slamming of the keys.
They surely never splashed, and if by chance they did, their mothers laughed,
Wiped up the mess, and never hollered about days like hamster wheels.
They never had tech phones, and babies never flung them over banisters.
The babies smelled like buttermilk, and fed chickens from plump palms.
They never took their socks off posthaste upon mounting their carriage,
And if they did, mother simply kissed their toes like grapes for wine-making.
They wore bonnets, and dresses with home-sewn smocking, all in white,
Scrubbed with smiles in the sink against a washboard like replicas on my wall.
But the sink's edges are soft and curved, like the contours of my fantasies.
They lack the corners where I might bump my hipbone, getting me a sweet girlchild kiss.
The babies in that sink never had occasion to smile with sparkling-mischief eyes.
Squeals of delight, certainly, but not at moments of fleeing my grasp in public.
Not parroting chagrin-giving curse words at toe-stubbings--not the children in that sink. 
Not scaling the sofa as I type with plans of leaping into a pile of put-together puzzles.
My time in front of the screen is limited.  And I like it this way.

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