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Neighborhood Magic

A Poem for Bob & Connie Ratzel
Caravan Kitchen

The caravan kitchen
Molded our hands
Separate continents stitched in years
The eyes of wisdom
A statue, a presence
The Four Freedoms
Recited by Roosevelt
A speech to the nation
Maintains a watchful eye
over our family memories
Tracing our stories
In our caravan kitchen
Stitched from two worlds
On different trains
Hands held together
I run for miles with birds in my ears
Spreading porcelain roses
Gifted by angels
Weaving through the city streets
Knocking on deserted doors
The abandoned children
Carved in my heart
Trying to give them a fresh start
Coming home to my caravan Kitchen
In deep absorption of a private canon
A daily ritual in the Eucharist
Sewing baptism into my life
The water washing over my limbs
Building sustenance to be brave
Fresh cooked salmon fuelling our existence
As cookies exit the kitchen
A transplanted unit carved inside the wall
A cosy seat for all to meet
Stories pass hands
Inscribed into walls
In our Caravan Kitchen.
Over the salty seas he came
Escaping the war machine
A premonition of the death march
Spreading like disease
A man was born to the justice and peace
A fascination for political history
Gladstone, the delicately pointilist marks
The first British Liberal Prime Minister
Stands in miniature
Organizing history, organizing numbers
The stack of paper has been his burden
Finding peace in the caravan kitchen.
He shuffled in digits
A capitalist game
Re-distributing wealth
Gambling with property
He juggled the jobs
Counting the dollars
Feeding the family
An Olympic medalist
And a marathon runner
Fifteen marathons under her belt
A family of five with a healthy appetite
In the caravan kitchen.
He and I we stand together
Independent souls living together
He has loved me well
In the Caravan Kitchen