Sunday, February 13, 2011

Magpie Tales 52 - Poem: It looks inviting but it's just a house.

It looks inviting but it's just a house.
Let me tell you about a house-

Past the curtains into the living room
where white upholstered seating
was primarily for company       while free
to come and go-    those were the days
when we were to be seen
cheeks pinched
bragged about in one form
or another but heavens no
add nothing to the conversation.

Upstairs was the safest place,
a room with a bunk bed I shared
with no one.    My trappings were many
and they were my comfort.
In the back was a window I shared
with the world-   an array of bumper stickers
shouting silently my views.
They were not the same as the management.

The kitchen below was by contrast
the most communal of all the rooms.
Around the table the balance of power
seemed most evident and it was there
I felt as though I was a wedge issue
based upon the parenting being done
and by whom the orders were administered.

There were chilly political discussions
back then Nixon was the one
but he really wasn't.    From time to time
there was the "N" word.  It was during these
times, the off color jokes that I felt most
uncomfortable about and not my posture
which was also a hot topic as well
as if I was finishing my dinner- leaving
a clean plate before I could go.
That was a battle I would eventually win.
Time was on my side.  But there were times
as well when my punishment was to stand back
against the kitchen print on the wall and become
one with it... to solve all my posture problems.
It didn't.

The enclosed back porch, the family room
with bar that was never used as such- 
and only in time for the moon landing
did it become home for our TV-
these rooms were cold, but not the kind
of chill that the kitchen had.

The dining room seemed majestic
at the time with built in china cabinets
I learned had been perfect for hiding
newly arrived letters from paternal grandmother
before their destruction.  Beamed ceiling,
natural oak that had been painted
but brought back to life.

The dining room was for formal
meals and entertaining      and fakery.
Playing normal and enjoying mom's
white yeast rolls and butter.

Thinking back these rooms
fan out to form an array
of memories.  Sometimes
it is better their ornamental
view is closed into one ivory stick.

I left the day after graduation.

2011© Michael A. Wells
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