The Familiar Rooms, Poem

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

In August 2020 home is the only place

I am allowed to be for very long.


So after folding away the chores

I shelter in place, in my small house of habit:


in all the familiar rooms

of my body.


I crochet the shawl for my sister,

yarn over, pull through,


again and again down the hallway

of my old deft fingers.


I open the flute case

to unlock the music room


and exercise muscle memory in octave runs

of quarters, eighths, sixteenths.


But memory is not enough: my arms, legs, lungs

must visit my secret swimming pool,


the only one open,

the one I will never own,


where I enter the silent water: slow song of stroke, breathe, kick.

I am the only person here.


By ten my body becomes a bedroom.

Sometimes I can find the quiet key to sleep, sometimes not.


The closet of dreams is usually closed

and if it opens I can’t remember the names of the people


moving through a clouding future, people I am sure

I once knew, must know now, names slipping,


slipping from my grasp.

Carol L. Gloor

2020


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