Grandfather Salem built a stone house,
one room for Grandmother Hilweh,
one room for seven of us,
one for a newlywed uncle,
Siham and her son in another,
a family upstairs.
Mother cooked near apricot and plum trees,
kitchen behind a curtain
in a comer near a jug reservoir.
Mother found her wedding ring there
many years after its plunge.
Siham and her son left.
We had a new kitchen,
complete with covered bucket to squat over.
No more frosty outhouse at midnight in December.
Mother feared baking bread in a taboon—
an outdoor igloo-oven for women
circled to gossip, flaming rocks toasting their toes.
Grandmother's round, hollow-center bread
was broken each night,
accompanied by well water only
Grandfather dared fetch. He scolded Mother for sneaking
our life-source for her hungry daffodils and tulips.