DEVA OF HOUSECLEANING
regular as menses she used to have,
top notch vacuum ready to hum,
non-toxic potions, powders and feather
duster stowed in a round basket.
Her microfiber cloths dazzle faucets
into impossible shine.
She paints her house pale rose
with black shutters, a maverick taste.
As for cigarettes, she gives them up
in the name of longevity, just like that,
gains weight, comely and curvaceous.
Even in winter she sheds her flip flops
on the front porch, bare arms CD-laden
with upbeat vocals she sings while dusting.
She gets me going too with Michael Franti’s
hip-hop and Adele’s river of tears.
There must be a Black mama living
under the skin of my friend.
No matter the trials, with kindness and songs
she gets on over. Sometimes we both cry,
music her balm after tending many friends
who slip away in distress, yet are never alone
when held in her loyal presence.
On her first visit, she leaves shards
and slivers of soap stacked in ziggurats
in the shower stall, and by the sink
a sailboat made of soap! The girl’s
an artiste. On a kitchen window sill
she arranges a gallery of beasts:
porcelain owl and cat, toad and heron
set among amethyst and crystals
to sunbathe with the primrose.
Air scented with cedar and citrus,
dust felt banished, vibration lifted,
the Deva of hearth and home
flies off until the next moon.
Claudia Lapp (CEL) 3/22/2014