Poems of Place & Displacement

Maybe in My Neighbor’s House

The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.
                  George Eliot

So she landed in the kitchen
softly by the sink, her hands
in dishwater, a small joy, and to dry them
with this towel found on the table.

She wanders, opens doors:
the one bathroom, two closets
and with no skeletons, no shadows
only dresses, a bathrobe, the children’s room

and look: two daughters, happy daughters
examining with delight
the bones of their small hands
the garden prints on their cotton dresses.

And a pop song on the radio, pillows
on the bed, milk in the ice box, boxes
of cereal, a basket of laundry, a dining table
with stacks of bills.

And look through the window
the back yard—an impossible green
and a glittering breeze
in trees she cannot name.

Lucky Lunch
Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Copyright 2007,  Lisa Ortiz

Lisa Ortiz's poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Literary Mama and Zyzzyva. She lives in La Honda, California.                                              

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