I’ll take it all

I wanted to say
on the other side of the glass partition
at John’s Ice Cream, just past the Circle K
on Route 3. And then again
when I rummaged through the aisles of Ron’s Unusuals
in South China, all those old cast irons
and pill bottles, an accordion that belonged
to a woman named Muriel Washburn,
a Michael Jackson action figure,
the trinkets and baubles under the glass
where Ron stood, tanned from his stint in Florida,
his eyes a study of kindness. And earlier,
at the nursery tucked away
on a dirt road, the sound of chickens
from the distant coop, two plastic chairs,
picturesque, near a pergola just beginning
to vine. This morning, of course,
the plumber has come by with his estimate.
What else is there to say but
I’ll take that, too. I’m still floating in the miracle –
that’s what Jean called it – of when the doctor
couldn’t find the thing
he had meant to take out. Somehow,
in the span between the ultrasound and
the follow-up, my body disappeared
its intruder, sloughed it off into the robust brew
of leukocytes that fizzled its chances.
And now I’m considering
the tomato seedling in its tidy square pot,
a newborn fuzz on its stems. Now everything
looks tender and possible,
and maybe our lives are the same, quietly greening
beneath our notice, despite the cataclysms and losses, despite
plumbers and all the evidence to the contrary.
There are still Sunday afternoons
you can take a drive and find
a chalkboard sign with three dozen flavors
at your beck and call, and aisles of silverware that belonged
to someone’s grandmother. How when you reach in the box,
put your hands on the tines, you can taste
the butter on the dinner rolls and feel the revelry
in an old dining room, a texture
you want to roll around in like farmhouse hay,
twiggy straws tickling your skin.
How the cone, dripping down your wrist,
leaves a trail in the thin shape of new petals.

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maya stein
Maya Stein is a Ninja poet, writing guide and creative adventuress. She has been a freelance writer and editor for more than 20 years and has self-published five books along with a handful of writing prompt booklets. Her latest books are “Grief Becomes You,” a collection of writings and photographs on the subject of loss from more than 60 contributors, and “The Poser: 38 Portraits Reimagined,” a full-color coffee table book of contemporary portrait re-enactments.
Maya facilitates workshops and retreats, live and online, and also works one-on-one with people interested in deepening their creative practice and bringing new work to fruition.
After a 7-year stint in suburban New Jersey, she is now happily ensconced in the wilds of mid-coast Maine in a house named Toad Hall.
You can connect with Maya on her website.

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