Thursday, May 27, 2010

for one moment she stops and presses her abdomen agains the sink

bone china in my right hand.
up against the wrist, the white
slice of handle, the blue river vein:
a baby could be crying. a kitten

mouth is open, violent and right.
red brown food skids across the
linoleum, skids into the places
where things fall and disappear

in a kitchen: my ankles crack.
from the other rooms other lives,
my husband's smell is thick.
the cleaver is out on cutting board

the cutting board slides into the places
where things slide and emerge clean,
up against my wrists, my fingers,
slick water and the pinprick of blood

hanging from white bone
china. there is no clock.
there is time, or not time.
blood, or not blood. red, or not red.

this place, or not this place.
this kitchen, or not this kitchen
this day, or not this day.
in this sink, or not in this sink

the scald rises like a baby's red bottom
up on the bone white, a gifted hive,
a matter of principle, the place
where things burn when

erupt and come dirty, the kitchen.

maggie may ethridge
SJ said...

Maggie -- I want to hug you and bury my face into your back. Take care of you, sweet one. We need you.

By "we," I mean me.

Annie said...

The poem captures a bleak moment, eloquently- I can feel the blank emptiness- aware and unaware- a pause. I can't quite figure what the final lines mean, but they are affecting, and in the context of the poem, just right.

Elizabeth said...

Maggie, I'd be so interested in your writing process. How these poems emerge-- inspired, then written, then revised? Or bursting forth and on the page, clean and perfect as they appear to us?

Frenchy Pectoralis said...

Oh I know that look of
what have I done.

I wish you would continue
to share you man's story
as I found it riveting
and of such help and interest
in ways no one could even possibly imagine - as if hidden in a secret world for so long with only a severed ear to listen.

Please keep sharing your trials
with your family

* said...

I approach your poetry like I approach Plath's: curious and trembling at discovering what is at stake.

The white bone china.
The pinprick of blood.
The scald (love that word).

Love this poem.

Lisa said...

I want to live in that kitchen looking at the doves on my window ledge.

Interesting poem.

Anonymous said...

i love it, i love it
the words
yes, i can feel this way sooo many times.

what a painting, maggie!!
you are wonderful!!!!
thank you, my dearling!

yolanda the red dragon

Kay said...

this is powerful... it could be or it couldn't... picture grasps the words perfecly

wonderful balance and very thought provoking, love it!

I'm Katie. said...

You're creating things of relatable beauty from struggles and mundanity. You, madam, are an artist.

Anonymous said...

So very poignant! Dangerous and beautiful, too. I've left you an award over at my blog.

Accept it or not (I usually don't play the awards game, but eh!). As you wish, it's up to you! :)

Anonymous said...

i adore your line breaks and the use of balancing abstract & concrete detail. so lovely.

xo Alison

Elizabeth @claritychaos said...

I feel speechless after reading your poetry, but it feels like stealing to read and click away without saying thank you.


Lydia said...

Deep and quite mysterious. I can't say I understand this one, but I will say that I'll return to read it again.

Light and Writing said...

I can't breath! you are amazing!

Blunt Delivery said...

there you go again. it seems i can always relate to your words if even in the smallest way. and that's what makes you the great writer that you are!

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