What lies in the fine notes, the dust motes
shaking into lazy patterns when the curtains
are pulled back, when the one who believed
Spring cleaning was a ticket pass
to presentable, respectable and Godliness
Who is she now, having forgotten
the creaking split third rung of the ladder
or the tickling smell of lemon in soap suds
as a divine sign of propriety.
Does the stretch to reach
one more inch heavenwards
forgive the missed spider’s web
strung corner to corner, a dead sow bug
frozen in time’s hands, its cataract body
in fragility a fine crystal goblet housed in silk.
What is right when the children are
faces in a facade, datedly hanging on walls
that bore witness to
scuffs and shadows, and nightly charades
the games played in raised voices and fists
bruising more than pride.
Does she still swear by all things holy.
Does she believe in sanctuary.
Who shoulders the weight, in accusations
of the blind confessional when nothing
is offered up as salve and memory
wishes to fly away on its one unbroken wing
migrating any-elsewhere, as the silken
curtain cocoon is threadbare and there are no
smiling faces for the promised land of
propriety, and respectability in the home.