Kitchen Table

⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Our kitchen table serves as purgatory to the house,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀everything on its way through required to stop and wait,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀everything there on its way somewhere eventually.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Clean laundry half-folded, dirty laundry half-sorted,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀unopened mail, identifying papers to be shredded,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀old newspapers, dry goods not yet stored on shelves,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀a bag of cat litter, plates left from some past dinner,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀and our gods only know what’s beneath what’s on top.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Purgatory, my man, given up to an arbitrary change
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀of word and heart. One soul’ll put up with this mess,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀that’s taken as credit to what we’ll call grace and love,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀and we’ll give him the grace he needs to stay out of hell.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Then there’s you. You put up with the mess too easily,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀so we paint it up as a sign of an unspeakable clutter
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀accumulated high on your own private kitchen table,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀and we curse you as needed to show you the door.


written for Kitchen Table
at The Time Is Now at Poets & Writers

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6 Responses to Kitchen Table

  1. slpmartin says:

    Ah..this sounds like my house.:-)

  2. Frances D says:

    I like the idea of cursing someone as needed. Keep that pen moving.

  3. Purgatory
    Limbo
    Doing penance while awaiting an upward movement to a state of approval, acceptance and approval..
    A lesser form of ‘hell’ yet a hell none-the-less for those just a ‘little’ bad and wading in with remorse. Or ?

    • Waiting for approval versus waiting for rejection, yes. My idea in this one was to see the kitchen table as a crossroads for that contrast along two different roads. First, in the traffic that passes to and from the table, such as the laundry and the bills. Then crossing that, along the second road, the people coming to the table, the ones criticized for accepting the clutter versus the ones praised for accepting the clutter. So sort of a purgatory squared? Cyn

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