Archeology of Desire
Steam curls its way up the spout,
unfurls petals of mist that displace
the winter of a cold kitchen.
My gramma cups her hands around
the blue-willow cup, its glaze
cracked and veined. She lowers
her face to the heat, takes a sip
and rests her head against the back
of the rocker, the hiss of wet wood,
our background music. Soon
the stories spin from her mouth,
worn from telling, smooth
as softest flannel. How they tint
the bleak day in warm pastels.
She guides me through the prairies
of youth, the furrowed ground
of growing old, of births and deaths
of children and husband, crocheting
the past with mauve shadows laid
against the gray simplicity
of the North Dakota Plains.
by Mary Jo Balistreri (USA)