I Can Taste This House | Marilynne Thomas Walton
Remember when the bread
we bought was stale enough
to be called “for the birds”?
Our on-sale peaches soft; browning spots
to cut away. And when new boxes
arrived at the Salvation Army, it was
like opening a Grandma’s treasure trunk.
Then the kids’ only new clothes came from
relatives birthday/Christmas presents.
Did I ever tell you
about the rented duplex
I lived in when I was little
in South Minneapolis. Next door
to a green stucco hardware store
and a bar, seeping with amber whiskey smell.
Neon lights flashed on my bedroom
wall at night, red, blue, green, then
green, blue, red again.
In my dreams floated a white colonial house
with green shutters, overlooking
Hiawatha golf course, that Martha,
a classmate, owned.
That’s why when we
bought our first house
at age forty-one,
it felt like a church when
I walkd in. That gold
shag rug was mine!
Every blade of green grass,
the wild purple violets
spotting the lawn like on a
dotted Swiss dress—mine, too.
I’m an old lady, now,
and I can still taste
the sweet, sweet bee nectar of
this house, I share with you,
my old spouse.