Our Saturday Drive Toward Home

I eat powdered donuts from the box,
the sugar dusting my denim shirt.
He drives, sips coffee, fiddles with the radio.
Anyone who sees us at a stop sign
will think we’re comfortable, two middle-aged
people out early.  No one will know how
unsettled we feel, how eager we are
to fill our life with things.  We’re going to
garage sales, we’re going antiquing.
I’m here this morning as his new lover,
and we’re out to make a home together,
to furnish ourselves with a history
we have no time to create.  There’s an urgency
to our years, to our sense of common dream.

We’ll load his truck all morning with our finds–
a hand-cranked ice crusher, a 1950’s
highchair, a chaise lounge that’ll cost a fortune
to reupholster.  What we avoid
are the sad boxes of family photos
everyone seems willing to sell (that one
could be my German grandmother, prim
in her high collar, and that one could be
his great-uncle come down to town
from the Tennessee hills).  We’re honest enough
to know we need each other, know that we’re
desperate for completion, but there’s a boundary
to how far we’ll go, how much of a bargain
to bargain for.  So on this Saturday
we’ll shop around, knowing at every stop
that this is surely that moment between
history and desire, that moment
which can only be filled with the feel
and smell of the familiar, and even
if it’s earned in this dishonest way,
there’s no turning back.

Filed under: Poetry