The black and white squares gleam in the tree-filtered light that pours like sweet lime juice
through the kitchen window.
Silently shining, the tiles reflect children’s socks sliding, diapered bottoms pushing off
to find freedom in motion.
With a sturdy softness, the weathered floor braces the delighted soles of cooks.
The cheerful eaters dance, drawn in by the scent of roasted, ripened love.
Somehow always comfortably cool, despite the baking from inside and out, the humble
platform invites busy body bones to sit, stretch out, tell tales or just listen.
This unheralded dais is the place where life happens.
The weakened rays meekly dust the floor with a remembrance of light.
Icy fingers dampen spaces between old wood beams and the graying cracked cover.
Feet of all shapes and sizes shuffle listlessly along its spine, longing for the ready
warmth of rugs and slippers.
The daily meal seems distant, dull, made without fanfare. Eaters emerge reluctantly
from their darkened rooms to consume and retreat.
Inside this cold silence, the sullen floor sags, certain the wood beneath it has turned to rot
It should not be trusted to support anyone.
Aarati (Arthi) Kasturirangan is a creative being who longs for a world where every being has the freedom to share all their gifts. She writes poems, songs and short stories when they arise from her brain like morning mists. She is a 45 year-old mother, daughter, sister, wife, companion and friend, living and loving in Philadelphia. Aarati is a community psychologist which means she thinks about how communities, organizations, institutions, and culture can impact an individual’s mental health and well-being. She has worked in a variety of roles supporting movements for collective liberation for the last 20+ years.