Monday, July 28, 2014

Inside the fridge

Hunger isn't why I stand before
my mother’s fridge in my work clothes
and peer inside the vicious white light
like that laboratory I once worked in
(those skinned cats nailed to clipboards!) 
but here there's only one lump of flesh--
a chicken leg attached to a meaty thigh.
That's what I find in her fridge most 
days I visit--raw meet, an apple turnover
or two, milk and eggs, white bread.
None of which I ever eat.
It's just a habit: walk in the house, 
drop my purse on the floor, 
and look in the fridge even
though it's been 30 years since I left home
(and have my own home and fridge).
That's what a habit does to a person.
You do the same thing over and over knowing, 
maybe even hoping, the outcome 
never changes.
You just keep doing it 
because it feels so good, so right, 
because your mind can go flat and quiet, 
you can forget your cares, 
and what's better than that?


My mother calls to tell me how nice 
her flowers look in their window pots  
warm with summer sun. 
Her voice light and high--
she’s practically singing-- 
as if the sun shines on her alone.
That brave soul! Badly wounded 
but never down for long. 
Those flowers are fake!
But she loves them more for this 
very reason.
They will outlive the living blooms
that leave her to sweep up their decay 
and make her start anew. 
Much better fake! 
Durable, practical, just as lovely--
but nothing fragile flows through 
their polymer stems.
Time does not spoil their skins, 
their thorns never cut, 
she can hold in her hand a world 
without end.