Tuesday, August 4, 2009

There’s not much to say about our living room

We are family room people
Everybody knows to come in
Through the back door
Except strangers, peddlers, campaigning politicians,
First timers and shoe-string relatives
Our family room pulses, with no dividing line into the kitchen
Thanksgiving is the best, our annual celebration
Our gathering, our Holy time

Our living room looks east, toward the mountain
It is quiet and usually empty
At times, mostly in the winter I go there
To read, waiting for the fire’s warmth to
Touch me from across the room
Two, maybe three, may gather there
To get away from the crowd, the noise
For serious, or private conversation

My great-grandfathers desk sits
Between the window and fireplace
It’s been refinished and is missing the
Fold-down writing surface
I think of him resting his head
On his open Bible, the one I have,
Preparing a sermon for the small congregation
Of Methodist farmers, who would certainly,
Faithfully be at church each Sunday
After tending to animals and chores
Because that is what people did


  1. The last stanza is my favorite.

    I love the final line--in part because it has some good ambiguity. Doing things because that is what people do could be a good thing or not. We think of rote as not good, typically.

    But more and more I'm believe rote discipline is very important.

  2. I agree with Marcus,
    strange that the discipline of going to church is part of the less used living room

  3. Saw this over at HCB, Jim. Congrats!

  4. came over from hcb to visit.
    i like how the whole things starts...
    we are family room people
    the whole thing about the back door.

    love it.

  5. you seem to have a busy room room with lots of living people coming in and out!