Poetry and Images from a Christian

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Housewife's Challenge

I have found as a homemaker that there is a certain tension between the creation of beauty and the keeping of order. These two aspects of homemaking need each other, and enhance each other, if we manage to maintain a delicate peace and balance between them. The effort is one of life's worthwhile struggles. Giving expression to that struggle is the theme for this poem.

Sister Spirits

Two sisters lived together,
Though they moved from house to house,
One the soul of Beauty,
The other Order's spouse.

Order, quite capable could carry on alone
And sometimes left, in anger's grip,
Crazed by chaos,
The wake of Beauty's walk.

But once alone, her value fell,
For everywhere she looked,
And in the mirror, lonely,
All she saw was straight and plain,
So aching, sad, she'd amble home.

Beauty, on her own, worked long,
And made a tremendous mess.
Somewhere she'd created a sumptuous cake,
But for flour and sugar containers, icing bags, and colorings,
Books of inspiration and sketches on scraps...
Where were those frosting flowers,
And where was that lovely cake?

Somewhere she'd crafted a carpet
Of jewel-like silken scraps,
But now she couldn't find it,
For all the pieces she'd considered and discarded
Were piled high and tangled
In silver threads she'd laid aside,
While stitching a tapestry she'd started,
Before finishing the carpet.

Beauty, all in tears,
Tired and disheveled,
Wandered room to room.
She worried, "Where is Order?'
She was tense and distraught.

This was the scene Order found,
All the color, all the clutter,
Scraps of silk and velvet,
Heady scents of sweets and cooking,
Passionate activity written everywhere she looked.
Her face relaxed into a smile.
Lines of pain smoothed out.
Sparkling joy danced in her eyes,
And a question,
"Where is Beauty?"

Order moved quickly all about the house,
Setting things to right.
She tidied everywhere she went.
She found the cake and frosting flowers
And put them together on a stand.
She found the jewel-toned carpet
And tenderly spread it out.
She sorted the mountain of scraps for future works.
She set the tapestry, unfinished, on display,
And gently laid untouched skeins of thread
In rainbow fashion
To soothe the artist's way.

And just as she was finishing this
Last and loving task,
She looked around the room
And there was Beauty,
No need for her to ask.