When my father passed away, the tree pie and the fig tree in my garden and the frangipani blossoms I saw on my way to work, held me together. I was consoled by the harsh chatter of the tree pie, eased somehow by the soft thud of the figs as they fell down and the flowers on the leafless branches became resting places. And feeling like I belonged to them made me feel like my father’s daughter in an entirely unexpected way. This poem always reminds of his lightness and grace.
The Patience of Ordinary Things
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?