The Summer Kitchen
Opening The Summer Home 2013
Not once since the world war
had the cottage been opened up
without my father’s being there;
we withdrew the white covers
from the wicker furniture,
wakened up the pantry once again,
fed the hibernated larder,
electrical clocks and TV hum…
oven flat-lined from a long PF !
was it not? wow, was it not ?
old grains muttering and stretching
the ancient joints and tenons,
waking once again to the nurses of Spring
which lead them Lazarus-like to Summer!
What a mutated thrill there was, and
what a sense of recondite suspense,
as if we came to Bethany and bid this house,
half asleep and half dead
from the somnium of Winter...
the royal underworld of snow and ice…
and we bid it, “Come forth, Old Comfort!
Wake again, Old Rooming House!
Up North and Northwest Delight!”
and we paused, filled with sublime passion,
“Come, Islands of Les Cheneaux!
Fill the tree tops with your beath!”
This gingerbread Friendly Giant awoke,
and walked to the river to drink…
…like domestic cats and homespun dogs
that descend upon the summer place
and frenzy sniff and incautious demarcate,
so we felt the house came to life!
Unload and carry, store and wipe,
and feel the wainscoting belt expand
from the strict fast days of January…
roses to be unhilled, stalks to be cut,
crooked sun dials set to rights,
…not ready! my feet hurt! my back!
when we collapsed at last, the casements crashed
like post traumatic stress, “Where is he?
Not since nineteen-forty-two… !”
And we heard the one miracle close,
others went on, and a new one began...