Dignity in the Home
All the chairs and the long brown couch just lay down on the floor in a line and the thin curtains joined them, sort of on the side or fluttering down onto them and I watched thinking this is the kind of loneliness I should've known about and this is nonsense: I object. But the furniture line was so heavy it went right out the door and some of my neighbors' lamps joined in, the tails of extension cords and paths of towels and bedding went straight down the lawn to the lake where even my toothbrush and coffee mug with the cats on it had slunk, so dejected it didn't even matter they were in the water with some cold rocks and a clam. All were loaded down with the despair so poignant in furnishings, each I tried to coax back into the house, gathering the alarm clock and frying pan from the lake, but, almost politely, they moved from my hands back down to that cold home with the fierce clam, who guarded them from my confusion. They were so quiet about it, I love them. My pajamas floated with such purpose, reached for the laces of one of my old tennis shoes out nearly to the reef, reached without expectation.
From Year of Morphines by Betsy Brown. Copyright © 2002 by Betsy Brown. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.