Journey to Your Deepest Self

While You Were Away

Bathroom Sink

by Kathleen MacGregor

While you were away,

I swept up a bit

And shelved the books

That had been piled into

Tottering columns and

Spread across the Ottoman.

Piles you shifted each time

You came home.

Piles  I insisted were

Exactly where they needed to be.

While you were away,

It seems I took over

The fussing,

The irritation with clutter,

The discontent.

The resentment.

While you were away,

I woke up early, and

Made tea before walking

Out into the garden

To prune and pull up some

Weeds, coming in to

Fold laundry and put it away.

While you were away,

I got a lot done.

Calls were returned,

Bills were paid.

And I didn’t write a single poem,

Make a collage,

Or take a nap.

No photographs were taken.

While you were away,

All the parts of myself

That make it fun be alive,

Died. Quietly. Vanished.

As if they never were.

I know who I’d be

Without you.

You are the sculptor’s hands

Kneading, squeezing, pushing

And I am the lump of clay

Coming into form by your hands.

And even if I am unsatisfying,

Never turning out the way you plan,

I am.

And you keep returning to the wheel.


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