Happy New Year! This is instead of my usual resolution poem, as that tis always the same... stop worrying and have more faith. My daughter phased it well, invoking the teaching of Abraham Hicks, "to stay on my high flying disk." Here's to flying high this year!
On Letting My Kettle Whistle
It was lovely to be home alone
and sorting my bookshelves,
I honored that volumes, like people,
prefer keeping to their own.
The memoirs sip wine and commiserate,
the novels discuss movie rights,
self-help compares latest diet fads,
poetry shares last night’s dream.
It is imperative as well to
keep an author’s work together
and I was sure I had another
Mary Oliver book somewhere
as the tea kettle began to warble.
Because there was no one
to worry about bothering,
I did not attempt the slippery sock rush
across the wood floor.
The cats kept slumbering.
I recalled an author ignoring
a bunch of overripe bananas,
the liberation she felt not making bread.
So many lovely book names Mary has,
Why I Wake Early, Twelve Moons,
House of Light, A Thousand Mornings
on my shelf they sit like sisters,
brushing each other’s hair,
her book nomenclature forms half rainbow,
Red Bird, White Pine, Blue Pasture.
American Primitive escaped me,
seems the square peg in terms of titles,
but on second thought, an appropriate witness.
I was curious if something horrible might happen,
the kettle could turn into a fiery ball and explode,
the windows would break,
firetrucks come screeching to my door.
I am always so quick to cut everyone off,
my children when they fight,
my lover if he gets frustrated.
The chaos of the kettle unnerved me,
but I allowed it long enough to notice
resolution even within the utmost pitch.
Half blackened with service,
already outlasting two fancy electric numbers
and one microwave,
I could imagine the trusty teapot,
expanding beyond its structure of steel,
conjuring the strike of ancient anvil,
recollecting fusion in the earth’s iron core.
It was a circle of coyotes on a summer night,
a band of marauding high schoolers
bashing in mailboxes,
a race car rounding the last bend,
a race horse on its final lap.
When I turned off the kettle
it didn’t settle right away,
but sniveled as it exhaled,
a few feverish cries until it grew quiet,
the sounds quite human or animal,
the way I have post protested
in my lover’s arms when encouraged
to get it all out.
I remember too my second son’s long labor,
after being born sunny side up,
his head was a grape popsicle.
He cried lustfully upon entering air
and then for minutes while I held him,
aftershocks of baby anguish,
little whimpers from the long labor.