Friday, November 30, 2012

Tuesday Prompt: Danette Beavers: Polish


On the fourth day, she unpacks the flatware.  Bits of it are missing, left in her parents’ house by some old coot who lived on the property before them.  Came with the house, you see.  Pretty.  Thing is, she only has four salad forks.  She will shine them, anyway, and not invite more than three guests.

            Her first place.  All hers.  No roommates to accommodate.  Only herself to please.
April sun fills the white ply-board kitchen.  The stuff of all trailer houses.  Flimsy.  Light.  A misplaced elbow puts a hole through cabinet doors.  But the white is clean, and spring…well, spring is spring.  She has crisp linens, glass translucent as air, and soon she will have polished silver.  Peace in her trailer kitchen.

            Wright’s silver polish, her mother had taught.  No other.

            She pours some into the rag and sets to work on the serving spoon.  Amply dipped at its center, it tapers to its graceful stem and billows again into a wide handle that welcomes a firm grip.  Polishing it is pleasure.  No small details to vex her.  Only smooth generosity with a curled lily at its end.

            Be sure to rinse in hot water.  If any polish remains, it will ruin the plate.

            The hot water beads and skates out of the bowl of the spoon.  The silver shines white.  Silver plate.  Not real silver.  And only four salad forks, but she will have only three guests.

            She picks up a starched white dish towel and presses it into the bowl of the spoon with her thumb.  Black nicks in the surface.

            She lays the spoon in the top drawer, lined in paper towels.

            “Now, let’s see,” she says.   “Whom shall I invite?”

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