Friday, April 21, 2006

IN PRAISE OF QUIET MORNING CHORES

with my son gone to school
my wife gone to have the van repaired
my daughter quietly examining falling water in the tub
my students watched over by machines of loving grace
my day freed from the tyranny of work
I have time to sort laundry

I pick empty hangers off the rack
like strange fruit from a horizontal tree
and lay my harvest on the bed with the clean laundry
introducing them two-by-two
like polite-but-shy guests at a social

a breeze (perhaps from the ocean) blows down the hallway
and brings with it the scent of warm towels in the dryer
(the niceties of large appliances not hid in dank basements)

I hear a small voice from outside the window and downstairs call “ma-ma!”
and off far away somewhere a car door close

my head is full of dryer-tumbling thoughts as I begin
we’re out of shampoo
we need more life insurance
I’ve got to grade that math test
our cell minutes are running really low

but blow away on the breeze and out over the Coda Pool
(wind from water to water)

it slowly dawns on me
like a seal breaking the surface in the moonlight
that I could turn this to a poem

though to do that I’d have to stop restocking the strange fruit
in the closet and seek out a pencil

maybe one of those blue-leaded ones that mom used to use to grade papers with
the ones without erasers she’d hold in her right hand
hovering over student work
on quiet school evenings

I know I’ve got one around here somewhere
touchstone that it is

maybe I’ll write it later

8 comments:

Flannery Alden said...

Love the metapoetry.

Nice.

Big Orange said...

thankee, thankee... It was one of those poems that, to write it, means you have to stop what you're doing that makes you WANT to write the poem TO write the poem. And when you're DONE, writing the poem doesn't feel right 'cuz you're not doing what you were doing that made you want to write it in the first place.

Benjamin Dover said...

Write poetry about BEER!

Gumbo Ya-Ya said...

YA-YA!!

Flannery Alden said...

Oh, stop.

Mortimer Frothingham said...

You never let that boy have any fun...

Flannery Alden said...

I'm on to your game.

Gumbo Ya-Ya said...

I only borrow from the best. Besides, isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?? YA-YA!!