The kitchen sink

I pull the draw knife around the dull white porcelain sink in the kitchen so the plumber can ease it out tomorrow. He’ll move it to the new old house where we will wash, soak and play like we always have.  Your first bath, and the backwards chair pushed up close blowing bubbles with straws; on your nose a peak of suds.  I drag through a scratch of grit, perhaps fresh spinach from the garden, lettuce from the market, and sandy hands soiled from drying the dog’s muddy feet. The pull of a thready line of silicone, like Elmer’s peeled off the fingertips in sixth grade. Memories wash through. I am three bathing in grandma’s iron stationery tub, the place they clean the fish, at five bent over drinking from a school water trough, twelve, fifteen and a move across the valley to fiberglass enclosures, in college the old farm sinks were stained and chipped with use, a 1930s bungalow in Oakland, then Santa Cruz- its 1972 and a farm sink, stationery tub and concrete shower, then Bonny Doon was stainless; the hollow drip, clattering pots and I rubbed a patina with soft scrub.  We take this sink with us.  This was the sink I chose for daddy first baby, Mia.  It was to be a bath, to slip her from my arms, softened back, arms and neck, rigid legs, onto a warm, sopping towel there for traction.  She’d have cooed, smiled, rolled her head from side to side.  And I’d have lathered my hands, warming them first to wash her pale as porcelain skin.  Our newly installed quartz countertop has a hole sized for this sink, rounded at the corners.  It’s not in perfect condition, but still, it is just perfect. It’s the place we all prefer to wash our hands, chatting together over the day, and the place we’ll hang out at the new old house. love you, gma

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