I love no matter how sophisticated we get in modern society, there are basic elements like food preparation, babies and sleep we all share.
Ode to the House With the Open Picture Window
The house had been abandoned
and then remodeled quick,
in a week given a mani and pedicure,
beauty bark, generic shrubs and a for sale sign.
It is dwarfed by the newer construction
down the road,
smaller than their three car garages,
it is a ranchette,
almost a coffee kiosk,
big as a Nike shoe box, size 13.
A starter kit, doll house.
They seem like dolls,
the man and the woman
who moved in, moving inside it.
Rather like actors
in an off off Broadway production,
the house the size of an intimate stage.
Rather like models in a painting
by Johannes Vermeer,
who worked during the 1600s in Holland
and employed less than 20 colors on his palette
using primarily eight shades.
I must list them-
lead white, yellow ochre, vermilion,
madder lake, green earth, raw umber,
ivory and bone black.
The little house is painted sage with ochre trim.
I liked to look in as I drove my kids
from their school events to our home, many evenings.
I loved that there was soft lighting,
no glow from a big screen tv.
A brick chimney belied there was a fireplace,
but from my view I saw only a butcher block island,
a man or woman alternatively standing.
I imagined potatoes and onions chopped for soup,
cheese, apples, a bottle of wine.
They reminded me of Vermeer’s Milkmaid,
a peasant at a small table
who wears coarse linen and an apron,
she tends crockery and brown bread,
pours milk from a pitcher.
One day a bassinet arrived, white and small.
Soon after thick drapes were hung,
open during the day, but closed each night.
I was so glad they hadn’t put them up
right away, yet was so happy for them,
now able to stand naked at the refrigerator,
go to their baby in pajamas,
their intimacy their own.