Friday, December 9, 2011

Tender Perennials

Hardening Off
Jan 8, 2011 7:51 am
There was a piece of dry cat food
in the boot with the broken zipper
that I put on without socks this morning
Do you remember how I always
forgot to buy socks?
And how I used to steal yours?
I still forget to buy them.

I'm wearing boots inside the house
because the thermostat is set at 62
and 62 isn't cozy, is it?

When you were here

we had the heat
as high as you wanted.
When you were warm -

it was warm enough 
for everyone.

King of the Thermostat, I used to call you.
"Who touched the thermostat?" you shouted
when I secretly nudged it up

a degree or two.

These days it is smaller electric bills
or a sparse refrigerator.
So we choose cream cheese
over cozy.
And no one shouts
much about anything any more.

It's funny how a piece of dry cat food
can feel like a razor. 
Still, my steps aren't as heavy,
as you would think
wearing boots inside

the home
that we will lose.

The girls are asleep upstairs,
warm under the electric blanket

from Nan and Pop.
they will stumble
into the kitchen
and say
"Morning Mama".

And for a second, because some
habits take a long time to die,
I wonder,
if you are cold
this morning.

December 9, 2011 5:18

The boots came with us
to this place
because boots with a broken zipper
are better than no boots at all

We landed here, 
not far from our
old home, 
wings not yet strong enough
to fly very far.

Walking inside,
up the stairs -
we call out 
for each other.
Handbags huddle in
the hall, while we eat
pizza topped 
with giggles again.

Soon, we will all  
like milkweed seeds,
and my heart
will know a new ache.

But for now, 
the girls are still with me
in a temporary place
that you never touched.

It hurts less to be here
in this haven
where the heater hums on
and pink is the color of

If you are cold,
I don't care.
And it makes me 
a little sad,
I am not as nice
as I used to be.

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