Thursday, March 29, 2018

Things That Don't Change

Woman Reading by a Window, Gari Melchers, c.1905

I still clutch the cuffs of my sweater, one arm 
at a time, the way my mother taught me when
I put my coat on so it wouldn’t scrunch up my
sleeves at my elbows. The mother is gone and
the coat long outgrown, and I miss someone
fussing at me out of love and concern for my
clothing and comfort. I know a woman who
mounted a spring on her screen door so it
would slam shut as it did when she was a child.
The past can’t be reclaimed with hardware,
however, and the screen door might snap at
her fingers, as it must have when she was a child.

So I cling to the age I am—I can be sure of that—
and look around for the things that don’t
change. Today it’s the season’s first robin,
grown fat as a fireplug; new grass; and the slant
of the afternoon sun at the equinox, warmer
than yesterday’s, clearer than memories,
carrying images: baskets of bread by a
window... dark-blue linoleum kitchens... winter
coats worn one last time before hanging them
up in the attic with mothballs... embers not
quite cold now stirred into flame by the
ages-old afternoon sun at the equinox.

No comments:

Post a Comment