Guest Quarters at the Continuing Care Retirement Community

Photograph courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress.

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Guest Quarters at the Continuing Care Retirement Community

by Ruth Moose
Southern Cultures, Vol. 11, No. 4: Winter 2005

"Someone, sometime / must have made biscuits. . ."

It’s a birthday party for an old friend,
mentor and I’m staying overnight
in an impartial place, decorated
in pinks and gray, bed, sofa,
bath, closet of a kitchen.

One would almost think
someone lived here once;
in the kitchen a domed glass
cake stand, green kettle, assorted
mugs and teas, a white
table and chairs for two.
The cupboards hold a few
plates, bowls, but mostly
empty as new. The dainty
stove has the cleanest oven
ever, and the small refrigerator
has never seen food. Or drink.
Only lonely ice cubes
in a bin.

In the last cupboard
a flour sifter sits silver
and meshed, wears
a red wooden handle.
Of all things
a guest kitchen needs,
it’s not a flour sifter.
So why is one here?
In this place of temporary,
in and out lives.
Someone, sometime
must have made biscuits
for somebody they loved
and remembered.