walk two moons

i am sitting in my mother’s bed,
laptop cradled on my knees
thinking of how for the past few weeks–
i don’t remember, even, when it started,
but we’ve been living like pioneers and Victorians:

each day hauling heavy pots of boiling water
(after waiting interminable hours) to the bathroom
despite indoor plumbing, pouring them into lukewarm water
jumping in before skin could protest nor cold reach out
to suck the steam away: racing heat to the finish line,
escaping clean and cold with reddened skin
just before the air takes the water’s breath away again.

we boil water for baths,
we boil water to wash dishes.

i laugh at this, when i think of it,
and long for the hot water heater’s swift repair;
but in the meantime we are, my mother and I,
living as if we were as poor as my grandparents used to be
and it’s like living a piece of history
(albeit grudgingly)


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