Spring Cleaning

Blood pulsing
Along soft blue veins,
My hands push at the vacuum
Like sure hands.
The ligaments strain as
My fingers insist upon
Prying into drawers and
Separating
Knives from spoons.
Like my own mother,
I create a sense of order.
But then the fingers
Spread into exasperation
At the stain that
Will not come out,
The bread that refuses to rise.
And like my mother’s hands
My own become clumsy upon
China now in need of
Mending, tentative
Before the frozen lock—-
Or for that matter, any door
Threatening to shut them out.
Like any woman’s hands,
My own curl into a fist,
Stretch into prayer,
Push then pull.
Like her mother before her,
My own warned me:
A home is a hard thing to keep.