Saturday, February 25, 2012

Got Me Some Old Teakettle Blues

Beautiful photo by Ellen Wilson of Ella's Edge, who provided Real Toads with a selection of photo prompts this weekend. If you click on the link, you will find many very entertaining and wonderful responses to the prompt.

The old teakettle sat on the stovetop
for nearly a century.
Cast iron, built to last,
it boiled the water
for many cups of tea,
during low conversations among
the fully-gowned 
and aproned women,
who were prone to commiserating,
and sudden bursts
of maniacal laughter,
especially when talk turned  to
The Menfolk.

Teapot watched the endless
kneading of the bread dough,
provided coffee and sustenance
to the crotchety old farmer 
in his long johns
at first light.

The old kettle brewed tea
for the conversation
that told Ma and Pa
that Sissy was expecting

and, later,  boiled water
for childbirth
while the last long scream
then died away.

Teapot was there when
word came from the War
that the oldest son
had died.
It boiled and sang, 
boiled and sang,
all that livelong day,
while the aging parents 
sat at the table, 
heads bowed low,
hands folded, empty, 
in their laps,
wondering  what this life
was all about.

When the baby grew bigger,
a dear little girl
with golden curls,
it boiled again--
tea for the doctor.
Ivy had reached across 
the stovetop
to put the kettle on
for Ma, and 
her nightgown
caught on fire.
There was nothing
he could do.

The teapot witnessed
a century of hard living
as the aging farm folk withered.
It barely skirted the edge of
the New Millenium:
excess and waste beyond 
anything it had ever seen.
It was supplanted by 
flimsy electrical replacements
without its staying power,
with no history, 
that were
unable to provide 
the same degree
of comfort.
The new kettles
don't sing.

Teakettle's last trip was to the landfill
when the last living kin had died,
and the old farmhouse
got cleared out
and knocked down,
to make way for 
a bare treeless expanse
that would soon sprout
nothing but subdivisions
of every-one-the-same 
monster houses
with formidable monster mortgages,
everything within new and shiny,
breakable, disposable, 
forgettable and
lacking soul.

The days of old, weathered,  
battered, cast iron teapots
is now long gone.
But, when they were here,
what music they provided
as the background
of our lives.


  1. There is something about a teapot that speaks to our sense of family and sharing. I love your idea of teapot as the recorder of family history.

  2. I loved how the kettle took notes of her life and shared with us. You personified her view with grace. Well done

  3. I also wanted to say I loved it and wish all toads could gather for tea! How magical it would be

  4. I love the tale depicted through the tea kettle, Sherry... and thanks for your kind, supportive words concerning my neck and shoulder. I'll kepp everyone posted.

  5. Well done, my friend, well done. So many memories!

  6. How many objects are witnesses of lives lived, yet the teapot gives something back. I really enjoyed the story, the lives, and the life of the teapot.

    Thank you for your visit and comment. I'm looking forward to seeing you again.

  7. I love this! Although my tea kettle isn't cast iron, it does sing. I must have a tea kettle that sings!

  8. Awesome teapot tale! I often think about objects that surrounded us in the house where I grew up and how they were an unnoticed but so important part of our lives. Your story was so well done!

  9. Like the old song says, Every picture tells a story, and this teapot told an amazing one. The things in our lives have a life of their own, sometimes, and they give us a sense of who we in turn are. Enjoyed it, Sherry.

  10. I love this. I remember life around our teakettle growing up. You have captured those days and memories so well.

  11. I wish I could save all the things which held so many important supporting roles in the moments of our lives - tea pots included. LOVED THIS! I looked at that photo and wow your words were so perfect for it.

  12. This is purely marvelous storytelling!

  13. Oh, my. So often we don't think of history in this way. I loved this poem; it's the story of real life. So beautiful even with the tears, as is life.

  14. I remember our kettle boiling on the stove with its high pitched whistle/scream.
    What a wonderful history you weaved from it all.
    Due to travel, the world may have become smaller, but, due also, to technology, we are all fast becoming isolated from family. I even see ads on TV showing this to advertise for their bundles. One child in their bedroom on a hand held toy, another in her room on a laptop, the father watching sport on his TV and the mother on her phone in the kitchen. All in one house and all, isolated from each other. Seems, it is going to become the new 'normal' and, that is so sad, isn't it!
    Lovely read Sherry.

  15. Beautiful! If only the tea kettle could write its story, what a wonderfully complex story it would be.

  16. oh Sherry, this is magnificent...I love the witness perspective you've created around "teapot"...absolutely beautiful imagery...I can visualize every scene you have painted with words.

  17. I can't remember ever crying over a teapot before... What a lovely tale! *sob, sob*


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!