My Mother’s Old Kitchen

Listen to Joyce Peseroff reading this poem.

The rooms through which EMTs
carried my father
clang! into eternity

contain not a single object
I cherished in childhood.
A thousand miles from it,

strange with egrets,
palm trees and humidity,
my parents retired to

exclusive happiness, taking
a porcelain lamp,
a bookcase. No room

for the sofa where I’d teased
Ann’s boyfriend, or chandelier
whose wooden beads

I’d told, numb, numberless
dinnertimes. Someone is clarifying
ghee or steaming pierogis

in my mother’s old kitchen, humming a song about the moon moving, always moving on.