©2017 Carolyn Faubel
After the wedding
They brought her the bowl.
Arms wrapped around its sleek heaviness,
They delivered it to her house,
Laid down a tea towel and
Rested it upon that, with
She stroked the glassy, curved interior,
Marveling at its weight,
They left the heirloom
While she dreamed of
And magnificent sponge cakes.
And when they asked,
(Because of course, they always ask)
How is the bowl?
The shattered shards of her words cut deep.
But, I LIVED, she whispered, remembering
Her children’s hands patting the masa and
I LIVED, she said, thinking about
Mixing meatloaf millions of times, saving money for
A tropical aquarium full of beautiful fish.
I LIVED! she thundered, knowing
The dull, scratched
Bowl was more beautiful than it had ever been
When it held offerings of pine cones and pyracantha
In the middle of the Thanksgiving table.
They crept back to their shuttered homes;
Dusty candles with cold white wicks,
Unopened decorative tea canisters, and
Sealed commemorative brandy bottles
Decorating their safe lives.