Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Housekeeping of a Kind

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

A home is commonly a place of refuge and safety. But not always, as veteran poet Patricia Ranzoni, of Bucksport, shows in this week’s poem.

Housekeeping of a Kind by Patricia Ranzoni

Once in a great while this house reeks
with remembrances of Wild Rose rage. 
The payday cheap gallon kind.
The silent supper kind.
The don’t pay any attention to your father
when he is drinking kind.
The fist on the kitchen table pounding kind.
The maybe if I listen he’ll like me kind.
The sinks into Kem-tone cover-ups
and scats along once-a-year-painted
battleship gray, worn to the black,
linoleum floor kind.
The wraps around frozen pipes and spills up
through cracked ceilings
and out leaking roofs kind.
The thirty years later
has to be reminded it was renovated out kind.
Stubborn stain.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1995 by Patricia Ranzoni. Reprinted from Claiming, Puckerbrush Press, 1995, by permission of Patricia Ranzoni. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.