orange painted metal
with equal sized holes
stood on our kitchen counter
beside the ceramic sink.
it collected old coffee grains,
orange peels, prune pits,
and dead flowers from the garden
she nurtured more than the little girl in me.
every few days she’d hold
each side by their handles
and rush to our compost heap
in the far end of the yard
near our grouchy neighbor’s fence.
once in a while he’d scream
that she attracts
the street’s rodents
and that the pile of shit
will not yield her better tasting vegetables.
she’d walk away, hands on hips,
muttering under her breath
as he yelled out that she
was a weird eccentric lady
with priorities out of order.
my father would walk to our
screen door and apologize for her
like he’d done thousands of times before.
this woman who strains, filters and distills
all that comes before her
as if she had a sense of it all.