Month: March 2015

“Welcome home” (IX)

Ode to the timer on your living-room lamp
The timer clicks and the light shines,
surprising you and me
in the shadows of early evening.

We’ve been talking for hours,
lost in the give and take
of speculation and opinion,
of debate and deliberation,
considering how to teach
and encourage imagination.
You’ve spoken with passion,
and I’ve spoken with passion,
and we’ve both played apologist
in order to more fully understand.

The world outside has continued,
unnoticed, slipping from day to dusk,
until the electric click
and sudden illumination.

Now it’s time to turn
to evening endeavors—
a bite to eat, recalling
the day’s pleasures,
the poem you’d like to read,
the song I’d like to sing,
the podcast we can listen to
together—a fresh procession
of uncounted hours
leading to preparing for bed,
to candlelight,
to unhurried embrace,
until we finally drift
to the kitchen for water.

Then the timer clicks off
and we’re drenched in darkness,
except for the light
of the microwave clock,
recalling the world of hours
and confirming that it is,
in fact,
three o’clock in the morning.

“Welcome home” (VIII)

Ode to your upright piano
Lonely piano,
waiting to be played,
I know what it feels like
to long for her touch,
to long for the feel
of her fingers upon you,
and long for her
to sit by your side
and share
the hours of the day.

There was a time
she worked
to know you better,
a time she pressed you
to sing for me.
It was a time of blossom
and growth,
a time of tenderness,
and the desire to please.

Sad piano,
don’t be discouraged,
you know she knows
where you are
and what you offer,
you know she knows
the melodies you contain,
and she knows
that you are waiting,
and only has to decide
that today is the day
to sit down
and begin to play.

“Welcome home” (VII)

Ode to your dining table
Small, wooden table,
with four chairs squaring
your roundness,
you spend most of your day
as the desk
where my loved one works,
sending punctuated signals
into cyberspace.

You are the center of everything,
the nexus that connects
one room to the others,
one person to another,
and each day to the next.
You are the first place
my love sits in the morning,
and the last place
she sits before bed,
and when sleep doesn’t come,
you are the pre-dawn companion
who keeps her company
through the night.

On special occasions you expand
to accept additions to your surface
and length to your perimeter,
embracing new visitors
and random chairs.
Upon your back is laid
the bounty of the world,
while above your leaves
shines a shared light,
and a smiling exchange of eyes.

You are simple, and solid,
and ask nothing
but to stand and support,
to carry and offer and serve.

“Welcome home” (VI)

Ode to your refrigerator
A sea of snapshots,
a smorgasbord of smiling faces,
secured with magnets,
shoulder to shoulder,
populates your refrigerator door
and charges your kitchen
with a cheer of celebration,
with a chorus
of unbridled moments,
with a spontaneous embrace
of youth and vigor
and pulsating pureness.

It is impossible to open
your refrigerator door
without optimism
for what’s inside,
and, when it’s open,
in the wide yawn
of its chilling mouth,
another explosion,
a cornucopia
of color and shape:
bottles, jars, little boxes,
and the natural groupings
of the bright parade of produce.

Your refrigerator is
the open hand of abundance,
the primal source of existence,
the unlimited hope and bounty
of repeated rejoicing,
the assurance of living
and the brimming well of wellness.
It is the great fortune fully felt
by the ever-grateful soul
who seats me at her table and says,
“What can I get you to eat?”

“Welcome home” (V)

Ode to the photographs on the shelves
on each side of your fireplace

The photographs of your family,
framed in little frames,
watch your life
from their place upon the shelves.

They are the reflections
of the different parts of you,
the stories of your life
woven into theirs.
They are stories that lead
to a captured moment in time,
and then go on
to another place and time.

They keep time past from becoming past,
and keep all times present in the present.

You move through your house
like moving through a reunion,
and each photo transports you
to a place beyond your place,
to another path and moment
branching from your center.

Your house, like your heart,
is where the times and places
of your life meet and mingle.

When I step into your home,
I start a journey through your heart.

“Welcome home” (IV)

Ode to the smell of microwaved egg in the morning
There is a morning aroma
without which
my overnight stay
is utterly incomplete,
a sweet fragrance
that fills the house,
an insistent odor that lingers
after the source
has succumbed,
after the seasoned dish
has been devoured.

It is the smell that announces
the dawn of a new day,
the perfume that permeates,
emanates from the kitchen,
it is the pungent blossom
I cannot help but inhale
when my love pushes a button
and microwaves an egg for breakfast.

Simple sustenance,
cooked in a small bowl
and consumed
as part of a simple repast,
life-giving edible
that feeds
the mind, body, and limbs
that I love to love,
essential essence
that becomes
the woman I adore,
the breathing being
I touch,
and who touches me.

Before rising,
in bed, half asleep,
I smell the aroma
drift through
the bedroom door,
and I relax,
I am calm and contented,
I’m at peace,
because I know
that my love will be well,
I know she’ll be satisfied
and sustained,
I know she’ll be nourished
for another day.

“Welcome home” (III)

Ode to the sound of the furnace in winter
As the snow piles up outside,
we lie in bed and talk.

A streetlight illuminates the flakes
that brighten the bedroom window.

We pull the covers to our chins
and turn our heads to the flakes.

The room beyond the covers
grows cold until a low rumble
adds its voice to our voice.

We snuggle even more warmly
into the covers and watch the flakes
shine through the window.

You turn to me and say,
“Lucky me, lucky you, lucky us!”

“Welcome home” (II)

Ode to the crown molding in your sunroom
I lie on the day bed in your sunroom
and gaze at the ceiling.
My eyes find and run the length
of the crown molding
atop the wall.
The flowing, smoothly sanded grooves,
the flawless paint,
and the perfectly cut angle
where two walls meet.

My eyes flow freely
from angle to angle
and from line to line,
savoring the sweep
and simplicity of shape,
the unblemished
lack of obstruction,
back and forth,
back and forth,
back and forth.

And the sun
through the western window
falls on the photographs
on the wall,
the photos of you,
your mother, and daughter,
and my eyes stray
from your photo
through the open door
to you,
at the table where you sit,
clicking keys,
sending signals
to warm the eyes and heart
of someone else clicking keys,
sending signals
from some other screen.

Then I fluff the pillow
behind my head
and let my eyes return
to the pleasure of the molding,
the rhythmic relaxation,
while my heart is warmed
by the sun,
the photographs,
and the certainty of the sound of you,
sending signals,
clicking keys of love,
in the next room.

“Welcome home” (I)

Ode to your loveseat
Yellow loveseat couch,
against the wall,
looking out
the living-room window,
the window that looks
down the tree-lined street
where neighbors do
their neighborhood things,
you wait for me
to sit in your lap,
or nap
with my head on one of your arms
and my feet on the other.
You are the bed
where my body rests
while I listen to my love
tell tales of family and friends,
or challenge my statements
with insights
and more hopeful points of view.
You are the softness
that supports me
as I gaze at the softness of my love,
curled in her chair,
swaddled in my guitar song,
drifting from attention to sleep.
Other times,
you hold us both in your arms
as we look out on the weather,
on the sun, and the rain, and the snow,
while the hours pass uncounted,
secure in the shelter
of shared presence.