Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Anniversary Edition - Home

Photo by Tess Kincaid
Five trivial steps
My listless climb
Exerting just enough to make me wonder
Yet I brush aside my trifle contemplations for what’s inside

Beneath years of lacquer
Too many decades to count
My fingers trace her hearth
Thick braille fashion a peacock’s spray
Surrounding her mouth where little fires crackle
Bewitching my senses with hickory and pine
And thoughts of blizzards and other seasonal hazards

Fantastic reveries become real from pages
Curled with a cozy throw and tea steaming
A chair too comfortable allowing those pages to meld into dreams

 I look around now seeing my sparse decor
The kind only youth can afford
Carnival glass home to a philodendron cutting years old
Leggy with its feet firmly attached to the silver frayed edges
Of her ancient eye
I look and stare back at its dated beauty

Little drawers frame her walls
Solid in their fashion
Jointed little duck tails secure
My mish-mash of belongings
A black and white photo of a scowling toddler
Shoes that hurt his feet and
Tight little newsboy cap
A plastic toy soldier
Keys whose locks are long forgotten
A menu from Six You Get Egg roll
Items too precious to discard
Unless you are not me

Her loss haunts my future
It’s only a matter of time before
The beauty of her heartwood
Whose holes I filled, sanded and oiled
Are discarded for asphalt

And yet I can’t wrap my arms around
The safety net she provided
My limbs in perpetual decline

My sense of drifting away in her deep tub
For years she soothed away
All the pains stored in muscle memory
Her passage too narrow for the
Motor that becomes my legs

Salty water spray my face
Not for me but for her
As all traces of her now
Exist only in my memory
Five colossal steps that part us forever


120 Socks said...

Incredible poem, very moving.

lightverse said...

What a poem - setting all my emotions on edge! I feel a sense of loss, but not really a loss either. Transient, but not that either, because memories serve only too well in this instance.

woih said...

This is one of the best poems I've ever read in my life. Truely...
Very, very intense

Kristen Haskell said...

Wow thank you.

Stafford Ray said...

A bit of a nostalgic wander! So many poignant images. Anyone who has nurtured a home then had to leave it will share your 'salt water'. Sad and lovely.

Trellissimo said...

Keys whose locks are long forgotten

But memory sometimes unlocks things which keys cannot...

liv2write2day said...

Delicious details allow us to be there with you and share your feelings. Wonderful poem. I agree with woih.

anthonynorth said...

This is full of power. Excellently done.

Jinksy said...

Carnival glass home to a philodendron cutting years old
Leggy with its feet firmly attached to the silver frayed edge

A fragile existence, captured well in these lines...

Girl in My Own World said...

This was filled with so much emotion that it makes me want to cry. I especially like the end. That is my favorite part! :o)

Tess Kincaid said...

Wonderful write. So full of emotion. I especially love that last line.

Buddha3074 said...

Makes me feel relaxed and warm! Nice!

Reflections said...

Wow! Such a powerful piece... lessons that go unnoticed until which time those five little steps separate - worlds far apart in this universe, a new world transforms into an unexplored planet of days gone by.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Thank you for your visit to my first Magpie Tales contribution and for your kind comment.

I very much enjoyed your response to this week's photo prompt. Your words engendered many mental 'place' images as well as feelings of longing for the past and sadness for the future. Well done.

Lyn said...

Ah, life itself..having, yearning, losing..memory..deeply moving!!

Lucy Westenra said...

Very accomplished. Who would have thought that five colossal steps would last forever?

Jim Swindle said...

Kristen, this is heart-felt and beautiful.

Kathe W. said...

Kristen- your work is very powerful as you work out grief.
Beautiful piece.

Lolamouse said...

A beautiful and loving tribute. Wonderfully crafted poem. Thank you for sharing.

Tumblewords: said...

This one breathes with memory and poignancy. Stellar piece.

Priyanka Bhowmick said...

very well crafted piece.. good mag!

signed...bkm said...

Creative and powerful write and so many have mentioned...you take us through years and emotions that pull at the heart...as time passes and a flood of memory revisits...bkm

Suko said...

Beautiful--full of details, feelings, and just the right words!

Glenn Buttkus said...

As a disabled person myself, I pick
up on the lines /the safety net she
provided my limbs in perpetual
decline/ and /her passage too
narrow for the motor that becomes
my legs/ and the poem even holds
more emotion, more honesty, more
nostalgia than before. Perhaps these
references are just poetics, just symbolic
motifs, or surrogate imagery--and
that is the naked thrilling power of
poems, we all jump in them, and the
journey becomes or own, and the
values we attribute to words are
our own--regardless, your bold
vulnerability is brave and effective.

jabblog said...

Memories,grief, loss - all this is known to all who have lost.

rel said...

Makes me remember old sancuarys when I could only pay 1/2 the bills this month and the other half next. But the warm feelings are still approachable.

Kristen Haskell said...

Glenn honestly I would still live in a house like this or perhaps my favorite a Craftmen style, if I could. In 95 I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. I try not to let it define me because honestly all that it really changed in me was the convenience of mobility and a greater appreciation for doing the things I love which is never a bad thing. In fact the diagnosis gave me a lot more than it ever took away from me.

kavisionz said...

BEAUTIFULLEST!!! Oh yea..this poem deserves a new word!!

The tiny details that you've laid out, the wordplay, the play on emotions, that bout of nostalgia... my my my!! It was simply fabulous!! From the start, till the very last alphabet!!
# times done, and I wanna read it the 4th time! Lovely!

Helen said...

Kristen, your Magpie reminds us how much emotion we invest in our nests. How hard it is to lose them. Five steps ...

Suz said...

What can I say
this was wonderful
and touching
and so well written
wow is right

Bee's Blog said...

I have read your beautiful poem four times just in case I missed something. It is an awesome piece of work which brought tears to my eyes as I was reminded of a house I once lost.