Beatitudes [poem] by Allen Strous

a usual sigh,
for the sink, the electric stove,
making so smooth and still and ordinary.
Making a cup of instant coffee, I find myself in this household round
of a few steps in the kitchen.
They have painted the coffee-making, folding clothes beautiful.
This is not beautiful.
It does not run so far.
But finding myself here, congruent,
a few motions congruent with the task—
everything fitting,
if, like the linoleum, a list of instructions,
a formica shine, only
a little more,
a gray space of myself,
gray winter afternoon.

Alone in the chore a minute,
alone in the room of the chore,
I find there is room, a room,
waiting here for the kettle to boil in a minute
and I find I am here,
not much,
pilot light,
so much a thing in its place
—though the flame draws together far sources, their places known, and here too—
but this little light, simple,
gray flame.

In the silent afternoon house
all day, every day I can,
that nothing
the winter afternoon light, no burst of it,
so steady, steadily vast
I and this—
familiar, faded out
walking in the light,
so light

the light, the sky at the top of the hill
I see from the foot of the hill

into the light

the light in

the figure on the plate border,
right and shining.

Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This poem put the editors in mind of the poem “Longing” by Laura McCullough.]

Image by rhodesj

Allen Strous is the author of Tired, The Backwaters Press, and one of the authors of The Fifth Voice, Toadlily Press.  New poems have appeared recently in The Cortland Review.