Many Rooms With Many Views - Poem by Linda Hepner
My home has many rooms with many views.
Here is the entry, where you see ahead
Framed in the hall a portrait of my garden,
Your reflection in the glass passing again
Through roses, hollyhocks and orchid trees.
Corporeal change, transparent visitor.
Now you are bewitched, o guest, o wraith,
And time is mine and space and mind.
This is the dining room. Prosaic words
For grey glass table, mirrored wall,
All mirror, as you enter, where you see
Again that silver self, yourself, among
The paintings, vases, plants that climb the wall
Entwining portraits of our ancestors
With the wild scenes of mountains, skies,
Intrepid travelers and dappled streams.
Turning away, you choose or think you choose
To turn your back on reflection, seeing then
The solid wall, credenza, paintings, clock
That chimes but sometimes just forgets.
There by the door an antique frame of gilded vines
Presenting an old faded document
In blue and mauve and golden lettering:
A marriage scroll, ketuba, states to all:
Name, place, intent and witnesses,
Agreements that the groom will give his bride
All comforts and below a splash of wine
A century old. The dead are on this wall,
But I who sit before you am alive and
Pouring you refreshment in your glass.
This is the bedroom. There the marriage bed.
The ancestors rejoice. The guests move on:
This is your room tonight. Upon the wall
A full life painting of a waterfall
And two young sisters sitting on a granite rock
Gazing into the splashing water, hand in hand
In solemn thought. One dreams of love
Who may come riding from between the trees,
The other thinks of friends now far away;
The water falls forever thundering,
The girls sit barely moving, evermore.
And from the window, down below
You see the garden view: the roofs
Of quiet neighbors, bougainvillea,
A pomegranate tree, a pond
Of koi and darting fish of red and gold,
A fountain, two cats on the ivied wall.
Those cats are lovers, cousins; sinuous,
They move together in a pawtip dance
And leap into the unknown down below.
And last, for now, here is the kitchen. This
Is where the cakes are baked, the soups are brewed,
The knives are slid into a wooden block
Each sharp as sunrays, short and long,
A maple chopping board where I will return
To chop with Mozart, Handel, Bach,
Great onions rich in sauce and time and tears,
Their red or golden skins peeling away
While I weep. You can look out
Through glass upon the street below, if so you wish,
But here is where the heart is, here the view:
This one you taste, you smell, you touch and eat.
There is a single window in this room.
My house has many
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