The Journey of a Cooking Pot

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A poetic answer to this month's Create challenge.

Journey of a Cooking Pot

A character in the Anime and Manga style driving a car
Ella's husband gives her a cooking pot
for Christmas – scarlet, heavy, good for stews,
says he knows how she loves cooking.
Lonely in the house, she rages against her lot,
wonders whether it's better for her mind to lose
her husband, or her sense of true identity.
She ransacks the house, grabs from drawers
objects closest to her heart – her daughter's
dancing shoes, a turquoise pendant,
a patchwork mouse (once her son's)
a favourite book of poems. Stuffs them all
in that capacious pot, starts the car,
takes one lingering look at home and leaves.
As she drives, a mist encircles, thickens,
turns the world grey. She stops and finds
the complex knot of highways gone.
In its place, a meadow full of sounds
of robins singing. Beyond a vegetable plot
stands a cottage, white with sooty timbers,
and a gravel path marked by many footprints.
She follows, finds a door, which opens.
A man, with greying beard, eyes that join
with smiles in reassuring kindliness
"Come in," he says, "I'm expecting you."
She finds a fire blazing in the grate,
a midnight cat on a chintzy chair,
a few old-fashioned portraits.
She calmly sits and listens to him.
"This is a sacred space, where people
who've lost their way can rediscover.
I know you are a wandering person.
You can stay, spend a night
in the ancient bed, have helpful dreams."
Ella gladly agrees to stay and climbs
the narrow stairs, finds the room.
A four poster bed with twining carvings
and lacy pillows welcomes her.
She reclines and watches those strange
carvings twisting, turning into trees
that frame a vision of a golden city
with a winding path to spires and domes.
Graceful people wander up the path.
Ella starts to climb a tiring slope.
But the promised city wavers, shrinks,
becomes suburban streets. Ella stops,
recognises a terraced house – her own.
Next day, she takes her leave, thanks
her kindly host. As she walks away
the cottage disappears and she finds
her car outside a service station.
At the nearest roundabout she turns
because she's come to understand
however far she travels, whatever sights
she sees, her heart remains at home.
A big pot of soup with loads of lovely things in it!
Poetry and Stories by Minorvogonpoet


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