Household Gods

Where do you find them?

Behind the stove
Around the door frame
Under small stones placed in the pots of plants
In closets
In lamplight
In morning and evening
Behind the dishes
Among the dry goods

Most places.
Not all places.

How do you honor them?

Honestly. Happily.
Sorrowfully, when you must.
Ajax scrubbing powder
A nice salad, with tomatoes and a little hard cheese
Old bones, cleaned by wind and weather
Tangling bodies

What can they do for you?

Nothing, at any rate, that you can’t do for yourself.

But if you’ve bothered to

(To what?
To protect yourself. Those around you.
Eat and drink. Hang tiny lanterns. Wiggle your toes in bed
in the mornings. And
just soak it all in like moss soaks water or sunflowers sun)

then probably they slipped in without your even asking them.

They sit around your door frames. In corners. Between pots.
Their favorite place is the slanty drawer where you store candles and oddments
(Unless you don’t have a slanty drawer. Go looking, then.
The spot won’t be that hard to find.)
If you’ve bothered, then
You might as well take a second and greet them.

Shrine. Not-a-shrine. Temple. Not-a-temple.
Home. Not-a-house.
Gods. Not alone.

Tiny Boat

They found treasures out there,
making a monster on the rocky shore,
and chief among them was the boat.

It was a tiny terracotta vessel,
sporting a crack
and a scratched-in design –
perhaps a blackberry,
or else maybe a rose.

And inside, inexpert
bright glorious blue!
It splashes up over the edges, like it wants to look out
and watch the world and the river go by.

Where were you taking your cargo of brightness?
Were you just leaving, or have you arrived? ‘

She took it. She kept it.
It sits on her dresser
with other small treasures,
the fleet that she captains in whimsy and dream.