Funny how my thoughts somehow
drew themselves to her bathroom.
It seems a place I once read about,
its memory is so far distant,
and not the place whose particulars
I contemplated often at that time.
I can actually see the coldness
I felt there in winter,
through the floor,
in the lukewarm bath water,
resting on that cold porcelain sink;
It was all so old, even then.
And there was always the crocheted frog,
on his lily pad in yarn water
that covered the lid of the toilet.
But I never think of it these days…
since in this one moment of remembrance,
it bursts forth and embodies that whole place,
the entire memory of my existence there.
Then suddenly I realize the
presence of all those rooms,
and the attic where we sometimes played,
and I know their individual potential
for recalling my childhood are great.
I see the vagueness of a porch
with jars and cans and plants.
I know the kitchen,
and the wood stove we
dressed in front of
in the cold morning,
the table we made cookies on,
her freezer against the back wall,
and the counter where I played my
new radio the day after Christmas.
Then the living room,
where two chairs sit and wait,
and granddaddy longlegs crawl the wall;
in the floor is a box fan to lay in front of
on a long summer day;
and there’s a soft and saggy couch
just right for staying up all night to watch tv.
Here’s the room I would stay in
where I lie awake,
and thought and dreamed,
and saw the sun rise the next morning.
There’s Grandpop’s doorway and
I can see his spirit facing it,
sitting on the side of the bed,
smoking cigarettes and just as drunk
as his body was when it lived there.
At the end of the hall I find her room
where she and Becca slept when we stayed;
inside is the dresser with her girdles in
the top drawer, those earrings, Wind Song,
and I borrow her cross necklace to
wear to church in the morning.