Her drawers like her relationships:
intact, tidy, everything lined up.
Spoons lying within each otherís bowls,
knives proud and straight in their velvet-lined
side table, forks with shining tines,
all tucked together in plastic compartments.
Her kitchen, a chaos of order.
She placed the phone in its cradle,
like a baby, gently,
and sat poised with her china cup.
Words had crashed into each other,
finding the edges of their meanings.
It had been messy.
She stood, looked for tidy corners
where words could live carefully
with firm boundaries like her glass jars
where words could stay sealed in
with expiry dates, safely packaged
with a list of ingredients.
The angry jar would sit on the shelf
next to the horny jar; the sorry jar;
the jealous jar; the content jar.
And for emergencies: the harmony jar,
containing prescribed words for peace.
She cleaned the counters
and all the surfaces,
then took another sip
from her cracked china cup.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Barbara Cathcart would be
pleased to hear them.