Tilting Pagodas

Len Roberts

Tilting Pagodas


Separating the darks
from the lights, a cup
    of bleach
in the empty washer
    first,
then filling a bit
        with water
before hurling our son's
dirt-grimed socks in,
even the Perkins Coffee Maker
        humming along
now that I've found the brown
        filters
and green tin of Columbian
        Ground,
the smell drifting out the way
        it used to
those mornings you'd wake before
        me and walk quietly
            downstairs
to this tiled floor and blue-walled
    kitchen
where the same refrigerator and same
    stove gleam,
the same doorknob you'd twist
on your way out to get the morning paper,
the same blue plates with an oriental
    background-
bamboo, ponds, storks, and pagodas
that seemed to slant, high on their hills,-
the ones we lined up that morning to see
    they all did lean to the left,
making the two of us tilt as though our world
    was out of skew
and we did what we could to right it.

 

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