Guest poem by Katie Baker

Ode to the old cottage kitchen…

We dined like peasants, we dined liked kings, we dined like wet children home from the beach with blue lips quivering
wet bums in wet bathing suits, leaving wet marks on the chairs
We lit candles, we spilled wine on your crooked table,
our young one’s feet stumbled over your joyously crooked floors
those floors! Those magnificent floors~ “I haven’t had THAT much to drink have I”?
the mice nibbled crackers in your crooked metal cabinet beside the crooked fridge that didnt quite keep ice cream cold enough
we mixed exotic cocktails; gin and tonics, scotch and sodas, rye and cokes…the list goes on my friends
enough cold beer to fill a stadium pulled from the ancient “icah-box” over the decades
we stumbled in from warm fires by the river, in search of your leftovers,
we piled your table high with endless bags of supplies hauled from “uptown”
rainy afternoon games of yahtzee, cribbage and euchre…. ah euchre!
…late night games of euchre, monopoly, poker and trivial pursuit
your pull down overhead light rained shadflies, mosquitoes and no-see-ums on our heads
and the spiders….ah the spiders! they were icing on your cake of greatness.
spiders…everywhere…spider shit…everywhere. webs spun at night. glistening across your windows
in the early morning sunlight
the beloved back door view…a mother watching her children run home over the hill
bird’s eye views of shuffleboard matches, the clanging of a horeshoe sailing in for a ringer
a virtual highway of islanders on after-dinner strolls to the point for a swim in the fading summer twilight.

diapers changed on the table, counters.
bottles of milk made warm for fussy babies
vases of wild island flowers, plucked with grubby hands from the valley to make a mother smiile
brown-eyed Susan’s, morning glories, daisies, Queen Anne’s lace
“good mornings” called gingerly through the window to the adjoining bedroom
smell of bacon frying on Sunday morning
father searching endlessly in the junk drawer…”FRAN? Where have you put the hammer”?!?

boards, paint, nails, shingles, glass, fixtures, old metal sink, a stove with one working ring, a red door…
materials. things. love. memories. tears. laughter.
your four walls held us all… every one. and so many more.
thank you.
goodbye.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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