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.

by Betsy Brown

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