The Familiar Rooms, Poem
Updated: Oct 20
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