“…in houses, even pails can be sad …”
(Roethke, Meditations of an Old Woman)

The old crone’s knowing,
how old do you have
to be?
I always thought
knowing was good,
a buoyant discovery,
like learning the origin
of the barber pole –
excitement over odd
filtering back.
A history of common
objects must mean
we mean
An old crone’s knowing,
maybe there’s something
I don’t yet know,
but this knowing
lacks lightness,
rocks in the pockets
it weighs you down.
A useless barrage
of things that can’t be
said or shared,
of collapse and loss,
and futility,
that leave you
silent in the afternoon,
turning your head
to the left,
at how alone
you really are.