and tucked the bag clips
into their holder on the inside of the door.
I paused and smiled to myself.
put things away,
The motions become
like a well worn groove
a path of where we've been.
Little things like opening that cupboard
- the one we call the tall cupboard -
and putting away the oven mitts, the bag clips,
getting out the broom.
The way one has to give the door that extra shove
to make it click shut.
When my parents and sister were here the summer before last,
they stayed in our home while we were away.
Afterwards my sister told me about a family she knew
who, when visiting far off relatives,
would go into their kitchen looking for something,
"Now where would (someone with our last name) put that?"
And invariably they'd be drawn to the right cupboard door.
"Because any fool (with our last name) would put it there."
My sister laughed as she told me this
because she had gone into my kitchen,
wondering where I kept the tea,
and opened the right cupboard on her first try.
Sometimes I think about the drawer
just to the right of the sink,
in my childhood home.
Cradled with bits of string and bread clips
and guarded by worn out household scissors,
lay my mom's rock collection.
One day she held a heavy black rock in her hands
and told me it was called "Obsidian".
I'd never heard that word before.
Haven't heard it since.
I liked how it sounded.
Sometimes still, I roll words around in my mouth
like I'm savouring a sip of wine,
just because the way they sound pleases me.
I smile when I catch myself doing that
are the only thing I've ever sipped in my life.
Reminds me of my favourite quote about words by Eudora Welty:
"There comes the moment, and I saw it then, when the moon goes from flat to round. For the first time it met my eyes as a globe. The word "moon" came into my mouth as though fed to me out of a silver spoon. Held in my mouth the moon became a word. It had the roundness of a Concord grape Grandpa took off his vine and gave to me to suck out of its skin and swallow whole, in Ohio."
I opened that drawer in my mother's house
the last time I was home.
No bits of string.
This past summer I visited with a woman
who lost a lifetime of
strings and bread clips and scissors,
in a house fire a few years ago.
Recently people had been coming to visit her
in her brand new house, and commenting
how much she must like it.
She mentioned several of our mutual friends,
who share her decorating style,
and how she visits them and sees something
in their house
that she used to have
and how she misses it.
Then she said that she even missed the contents
of the junk drawer in her kitchen.
Wistfully she said that everyone needed a junk drawer.
Her eyes then got a far away look,
as if she was opening that drawer again