*Open any of Ann Chiapetta’s books and you cross the threshold directly into her heart. Her words advocate for human dignity, family connections, independence of mind and spirit. Perhaps the most vibrant thread throughout her poetry as well as her prose is Ann’s recognition of the important role dogs play in human experience–as teammates in independent travel, as soul-mates in navigating life. And while I have never hugged er in person, I feel Ann’s genuine good nature just speaking to her over the phone and when reading her words*
The Marriage Pot
*from Upwelling by Ann Chiapetta*
Our first place was a fourth-floor apartment
in a prewar walk-up.
I grew to hate laundry day
walking the dog.
The dog abhorred our new home.
Her agitation was so intense
she took up chewing
when she never had before.
Her change and the roaches prompted
us to question our decision to stay.
The vibes were ornery.
So were the nightmares.
I don’t remember many pleasant things that happened.
We worked, we partied,
we hardly spoke to each other.
We bought the spaghetti pot
the second night we moved in.
I made gravy after scrubbing the kitchen
and laying down roach traps.
The pot went with us on all our camping trips
and finally to our new apartment.
The dog stopped chewing the day
we left the old walk–up.
Fifteen years later,
I have said good–bye to Blackie,
our second apartment, and its mice.
Our new place is
free of bugs and vermin and bad vibes.
The spaghetti pot is still with us, too.
I look at it sometimes, thinking,
if anything we owned
could represent our marriage, it is this pot.
It has weathered the fires beneath it,
protecting its contents from the heat.
It isn’t pretty to look at,
and pales when set beside a newer, unused one.
But, despite its dulled finish and dents,
it’s a trustworthy part of our kitchen.
Just like our hearts when it comes to our marriage.
I can depend on it
to boil the macaroni just right in record time.
What we put in the pot is
as important as what comes out of it.
hot–simmering passion, spiced tongues,
all tempered in a trustworthy apparatus
complete with scorch marks
and dents of good use,
reminding us how far we’ve come.
Ann Chiappetta M.S. author and poet.
Making meaningful connections with others through writing.
Ann’s nonfiction essays have been printed in Dialogue magazine, among others. Her poems are often featured in Poesis, The Pangolin Review, the Avocet, and Magnets and Ladders. Her poetry is also included in Breath and Shadow’s 2016 debut anthology, Dozen: The Best of Breath and Shadow.
Her first two books, a poetry collection, UPWELLING: POEMS C 2016 and memoir, FOLLOW YOUR DOG A STORY OF LOVE AND TRUST C 2017, are available from all eBook sellers in electronic and print softcover, and as audio books from Audible.
Ann’s third book WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS C 2019 can also be purchased in all eBook formats and in softcover. The Audible audio book will be released in Fall 2020. Ann’s newest title, A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future C 2020, is also available as an eBook and softcover.