Four jaguar heads stare at me,
Mexican, Costa Rican.
A third guards the mantel,
partially hidden in tropical plants,
attack ready, tail raised, jaws open,
My feet rest on a coffee table
carved in Kashmir. I look at the photo
of the young man whose family made it.
He took me home to meet his mom,
to the floating market.
Once peace reigned there.
Now I wonder if he is safe, alive.
The Hoop Dancer raises his arms,
the Acoma pot exudes ancient
black on white beauty, painted
by the tips of yucca stems.
The Thai Spirit House begs
to appease evil spirits.
I should put food and flowers there;
I never do.
Corn plant of life–for Navaho, Hopi,
me, painted, growing up my wall,
blue and red birds flitting through
the stalks, singing ancient songs.
Corn Maiden rug hanging on the wall;
an Isleta Pueblo girl won a contest
with its design. Four Corn Maiden
Kachinas watch the room.
Corn everywhere–Sacred Corn.
Three Ethiopian crosses, St. George
and the Dragon, Frida Kahlo doll,
Argentinian Madonna, Tohono O’odham
baskets, a painted cow skull, Nigerian carved
wooden elephants, including a Chieftains chair,
the stained glass transom window from the house
where my dad lived from birth to ten.
In a room filled with windows, there
is little room for paintings, yet–
purple bison glide across the prairie,
an Iraqi woman flies through an azure
sky filled with dark blue birds,
a 15th century mystic, Kabir, tells
a tale in poetry, Navaho spirits,
pumas walking toward me–
an unknown Persian city, Afghani,
Egyptian, Indian, Zapotec, scraps of old
Turkish rugs sewn together.
In one cabinet, Grandmother’s china,
Mom’s Czech crystal–a wedding present
decades ago, Grandson’s painted art,
the silverware Dad gave Mom on their
first wedding anniversary, Mom’s
everyday dishes–flowers blooming.
I use them every day.
These objects–a testament to who I am:
World wanderer, seeker, citizen.