Early Lamplight


A poem by Madhuri.


I am my own housewife
I rise before dawn to clean the bathroom
going out to shake the small rugs
in the dewy old gloaming
while the street-lights fade
into their aureoles –
I rinse out the dishes
part-scrubbed the night before
– grimmish at the repetition.
I climb the ironing mountain
– sometimes even festively –
pressing with somewhat-careless badness
the wrinkles into the weave
of my pyjamas.
I eke down that mountain
sock by sock,
warming to the colours
of jogging pant and knicker.
I make the bed into a wedding cake
every deep morning
pillows oh just so –
A glad bed, for resting
and all sorts of things –
and for gazing out the window
onto the blessed frost.

I am my own husband
bringing home the miso and tahini
killing the fatted chickpea.
I stand strong to make our living
in the zoom window
gesturing with the joy of the day
and my dutiful explanations.
I prune the garden
with the kitchen shears,
fret the bills, put out the recycling
into its clanking barrels.
I do battle with idiots
who don’t understand all sorts of things
in various arenas.
I cuddle my wife in the cleanly bed
and murmur in her ear
like husbands ought to.
I take her out walking
and show her the late berries,
warn her of sudden poodles,
keep a grip on her elbow
as she manoeuvres with her stick.
I love her
and stand with my chin out
before the world.

In morning lamplight
do we sit for a moment
in the wicker chair –
the pink ceramic lamp curves
beneath the warm and shaded glow –
The curtain half-unpulled
the bed still tousled –
The rugs as multi-patterend
as a Byzantine fresco –
The white, white velvet
of the luminous bedspread
we brought from the East so long ago –

And a quiet instilled in everything
along with the house’s
mild hum –

Luddendenfoot, October ‘22

In order to view this poem as the author intended it to appear, we suggest reading it on a computer screen or in the landscape orientation on your phone.


Madhuri is a healer, artist, poet and author of several books, The Teenage Poems being her latest one. madhurijewel.com

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