by Linda Albert (Sarasota, FL)
I turned my back on some of your skills
before I really learned them—bridge parties,
lemon tarts with whipped cream piped around the edges,
three-layered tea sandwiches without the crusts—
because of all the hours I judged you’d lost there,
the chaotic kitchen, the clean-ups that always fell to me.
I got rid of your impatience
right from the beginning—
the time keeper tyrant
who kept you running until
it seemed to me you missed your life.
In that, I might have gone too far,
and now I want some back.
Your maxims, I weeded out along the way—
though I confess that job took years.
If it’s true that God will only help the ones
who help themselves, then who needs God?
Airing dirty laundry in public is sometimes therapeutic.
The bed I make is not the one I always have to lie in;
There is no actual law.
But I do cherish your English bone china,
that set of thirty two with the gold rim and green border
you bought from Uncle Jack’s jewelry store in Ottawa
and confirmed at the Sweet Sixteen
luncheon you made for me.
In fact, I think it would please you to know
I use that china every day.
Whenever I take a plate from the cupboard
I share the meal with you. It’s easier now
since you’ve become my guest.
An internationally published poet, essayist, and former theater director, Linda Albert is also a certified Jungian Archetypal Pattern Analyst and communication coach with a Master Certification in Neurolinguistics, and in recent years her work has focused on conscious and creative aging. Linda’s poetry is influenced by her interest and academic training in those areas as well as by her Jewish heritage, the changing roles of contemporary women, and her personal joys, struggles, and insights.
Author of Charting the Lost Continent: Poetry and Other Discoveries (https://bit.ly/ChartingtheLostContinent), her awards include the Olivet and Dyer-Ives Foundation Poetry Prizes and the Atlanta Review’s International Merit Award for poetry. For more about her and her work, visit: www.lindaalbert.net.
“Bone on Bone” first appeared in Voices Israel 2015 Anthology and is reprinted here with permission of the author.