Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Light through a kitchen window

This is one of the black and white snapshots that I think my father took when he was scouting this house for the move to Shaker Heights. The house was built in the 1920s (I think) and this kitchen probably dates from that time. By the time I got there, it had been reconfigured with turquoise metal cabinets (noisy, surprisingly hard to clean and really didn't hold up well!) and a wall refrigerator by GE (naturally) than was also loaded with design flaws, like a tendency to pool water in the bottom. Later my mother made this into a still-life window. She stayed here until she turned 86 and then moved to Utah to be near my sister's family.

   A Room in the Past
It’s a kitchen. Its curtains fill
with a morning light so bright
you can’t see beyond its windows
into the afternoon. A kitchen
falling through time with its things
in their places, the dishes jingling
up in the cupboard, the bucket
of drinking water rippled as if
a truck had just gone past, but that truck
was thirty years. No one’s at home
in this room. Its counter is wiped,
and the dishrag hangs from its nail,
a dry leaf. In housedresses of mist,
blue aprons of rain, my grandmother
moved through this life like a ghost,
and when she had finished her years,
she put them all back in their places
and wiped out the sink, turning her back
on the rest of us, forever.

Ted Kooser

One World at a TimeUniversity of Pittsburgh Press, 1985

(I was reminded of this snapshot by this poem;
it is interesting to think about kitchen windows in relation to your family.
There should be at least one poem per person in that.)

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