Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Here is My Handle, Here is My Spout
Nobody touched the teapots lined inside the cabinet.
She’s been dead for two months. At least. No heirs appeared to claim the body. No heirs claimed her small estate. Staff from the nursing home volunteered to sort her house between trash and what was appropriate for donation.
Not one had a reason not to touch the teapot.
Stacked boxes in leaned columns all over the kitchen. They were waiting to go to the truck. People thumped upstairs, and their muffled chatter drifted through the ceiling.
The cabinet was still sealed. Everyone who approached it hesitated, then stumbled a few steps backward and away.
I looked at the pretty porcelain teapots.
I approached the glossy white cabinetry. Not dusty like everything else. My fingers neared the knob.
What I saw in my head made me flinch. A groan squeezed from my stomach.
I saw the twisted reflection of my face back away in the glass.
I would not touch the teapots either.
(Photo taken at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.)