Bird Lady

I have absolutely lost my mind
and for sure it is never coming back.

This year has made a wreck of us all
I’m sure; there are no therapists
or tattoo artists with open books these days
so I’ve taken instead to kitchen pottery

the kind a home-bound geriatric’s descendants would relent to
the depths of a goodwill donation bin, I’ve rescued these pieces of porcelain.

given their adorable birdhouse print a new life and meaning again
six coffee mugs hanging above the mismatched dozen we otherwise own
a stack of special dinner plates atop the white set we keep for reminiscent parties
cereal bowls made a little to small for most of what we eat

it doesn’t matter because I love them
and all of their mass produced imperfections

this set of dinnerware never sat in an Amazon warehouse
cataloged to the kitchens of well off homemakers in the early 2000s instead
then forgotten like every other place setting produced after generations moved on to plastic
my little collection of birdhouse kitchen supplies, grows

because I have absolutely lost any sense of youth left remaining
my mind is confetti in the rain and no psychologist can save it

because I have uncovered there is more to the collection on eBay
I have become that old woman who haggles the price of a salt shaker
to collect flatware and sugar jars and a spoon rest
they even made a matching spoon rest can you believe this, treasure!

some day these bits of me will be left to collect dust
in a china cabinet I’ve inherited or picked up off the street

and the niblings will ask why we don’t use the birdhouse plates
why there are so many of the same coffee mug arranged like a tea party museum
that display case holds what’s left of my sanity, I’ll tell them
I collected piece by piece while the world spun out of control.

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