Updated (After 50 Years)

Vintage, primary colored mixing bowls
mingle with a new, stoneware, pie plate,
joining the aluminum one you’ve used for years.
So old it can’t come clean…the zig-zagged
edges melded with oils, crusts and fillings.
Ancient, the cast-iron skillet’s siding
is also bonded with whatever was
cooking that spilled over and never quite
got cleaned all the way. Decades of this,
repeating itself, lends a crusted exterior.
Still, it’s in good use…nothing sticks,
cornbread cooks to perfection.
It could last 50 more years, easy.
The plates, silverware and serving
dishes aren’t new…bought
after the last of we kids left home
to begin our own accumulations.
Our childhood dinnerware was left
shattered, cracked, pieces missing,
by six, unruly kids showing no respect.
There’s a mixture of new utensils
jumbled with the still-serviceable 50+ years
old whisk, ladle and wooden spoons, etc.
The kitchen was updated by your contractor
son recently who brought the linoleum floor, and
Formica countertops into the 21st century
with granite and stone. Too, the bathroom
was made more spacious and nicely
appointed with new everything.
Only the layout looks the same of the
house where we grew up…even the driveway
is elegant pavers that complement the house paint.
You’re alone there now with your new carpet, new
bedspread, new curtains and a guest room…waiting
for one of us to come visit and keep you company.

Joseph Hesch is our host at Open Link Night on dVerse Poets: http://dversepoets.com/2014/02/04/open-link-night-week-131/

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25 Comments

  1. How empty is the house when the last child leaves. To be surrounded by the echoes of memories past; missing…just waiting…for the voices to stop home again. This left me a bit sad and yearning also.

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  2. aww…smiles..a place so full of memory, even in the updates and newness…makes me a bit sad, the moms/dads waiting for the kids to come visit…cast iron skillets…mmm…the best…they catch all that flavor and hold it too…food def makes me think of home too…

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    • Yes, good food was definitely a part of home. That generation was loath to get rid of something that was still useful…no matter how old or grungy.

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  3. No place like home… non-whatsoever. Great images!

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  4. Modern makes life easier, but there’s something comforting about Grandma’s old aluminium colander and the jar of wooden spoons, burnt and worn to strange shapes.

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  5. I love the old cooking utensils…I have many handed down to me from mum and searching through the op shops. I loathe buying new when there’s so much out there that’s still good to use. I like to think memories attach themselves to them and gives them a homely feel…just like your poem. I still have one child at home but it will be sad when the day comes when he leaves. Very much enjoyed your words. :)

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    • I would agree, Di…I think memories do attach themselves to objects…or at least the energy of the person that used the object. You can feel it can’t you…subtlety. Thanks for coming by and sharing.

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  6. I envy those who have this–a home full of memories. My aunt recently sold hers, and I was sad. It had always been that place for me.
    A wonderful write!

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    • Thank you, Charles. My mother still lives in the same home that we kids were raised in…so many memories. And I feel the way you do about your aunt’s place, about my grandparents’ house…gone now too.

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  7. Really well done. A delight.

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  8. I love how you use something that might appear banal to many and let it take your poetry on such a ride. And the 2nd person works really well, I think.

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  9. How sad when children leave and the house looks & sounds empty ~ I hope the children & grandchildren visit soon ~

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  10. poetrypea

     /  February 6, 2014

    My, my, this took me back. It’s the small things that mean so much. I bought a mixing bowl last year, not because I need it, but because it reminded me of my mother. Now I hope if I ever have grandchildren they will have happy memories of baking with granny and my new bowl.

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    • I like that you bought a bowl because it reminded you of your mother. I marvel at the things my mother has held onto…perfectly content with no urge to replace. I (finally) did get a granddaughter and can’t wait to make memories with her in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. An empty nest is always hard to bear-loved the mixture of old and new and how you ended it on a note of longing for company-beautiful!

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