Poems & Essays

17 Jun

Domestic Voices

General/Column 2 Responses

This morning I tried to scrub lily pollen
Out of our rug for hours
While the voices told me I wasn’t enough
Would never be enough
Had missed my boat
Was too old to reinvent
Or find myself
Or reacquaint myselves
And the pollen just sunk deeper
Clinging to every yellow-tinged fiber
Of the rug that was our best
The one we keep in the room
Where all things have a place
An order
Reminding us of beauty’s possibility
Even as our lives spin in and out
On and off of the rug
With the big yellow stain
I cannot seem to get out
What should I have told those voices?
The ones so hopelessly sure of my
Fixed place in this world
The permanence of my lot
As the one who hoped for
But never did
Or tried but never made it
Past the four walls of
The room so controlled?
Should I have said
The lily did this
Or our boys
Giggling as they pulled each
Other by the old dog leash that tipped
The vase so fragile
Until it rolled with a thud to the ground
A silent second
Followed by sorrys
And please give me space to clean
And reorder
And make of this a sanctuary
Where I am safe again
In the absorbing, the drenching and dabbing
The fixing and reacting
While the voices croon softly
To keep me scrubbing

Katie Straight is a writer and stay-at-home mom of three (twin 5yo boys and one 2yo girl) with a professional background in international education policy. She lives in Charlottesville, VA, with her husband and kids.

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  1. Maggie Blake Bailey

    June 17, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    That is so beautiful!

  2. Tricia

    June 18, 2019 at 4:18 am

    PIcturing all of this.. nicely done! – Tricia


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