Last milk breaks apart in the pickle jar,
cap stiff and tight on the plastic wrap.
Her stomach churns thinking of the blue water,
shapeless chunks suspended like specimens
demonstrating how the world will end.
She's in a bomb site in any case.
The rubble has settled in low hills,
ground pieces of plaster and wood,
bits of newspaper yelling $$ and !!
before they crumble and lose their burden.
No wind or rain disturbs her tranquility.
The debris stubbornly holds in breast-like forms
taking their destined stand till the cows come,
sightless children naming forts and ramparts
where human hands surface sooner than nails.
Friends and family mill about cheerfully.
They don't know the milk has soured
that the standard platters of eggs and fish
slices of red beef and pork on the crisp lettuces
will not appear on the sideboard this evening.
There are no tomatoes or celery stalks
no sauces and soups coming from the kitchen.
She has had to let that go and greets her guests
as though they are caviar, doesn't offer wine,
just the hugs and hand-holds before she retires.
She will talk to me about the spoilage, the waste
and want, children in their peach and chocolate skins
raising hands from the dead, tossing them about
like fruit, singing anthems and shrieks across the fields
until she forces them inside before the curfew.
Her guests will begin to interrupt us in the foyer
ask if perhaps there isn't something she's forgotten
in her gracious haste to welcome them like no one else
and she will almost curtsy as she checks the kids tumbling in.
Alas, not tonight, she will smile. Not tonight.