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February 19, 2012 / Rae Spencer

Keeping House

Keeping House

I drifted all day
From stanza to stanza
Keeping house

The laundry sloshed and spun
A swirl of blues and grays
While I sorted and folded
The dry remains
Of yesterday

And I polished layers of dust
Into a desolate sonnet
Praising sloth

I translated the kitchen
Wrote its peculiar vocabulary of spice
Into cryptic recipes
And tilting volumes of scent

Then vacuumed the office
Where spines decayed to anonymous
Motes and filled the air
With sneezes

While in the bathroom sink
A single gray hair mocked
Recalled an absent metaphor

Each room and stanza resisted order
With all the hidden power of entropy
The secret law that governs socks
And salt and hungry ants
And these curls of shredded poems

That speak of duty
Rites and arcane lore
Kept in the rooms of my house

Published in Menagerie June 2010

6 Comments

  1. Vicki / Feb 19 2012 5:55 PM

    Many will see themselves in your poem.. its wonderful.. and so are the photos.

  2. Jeanette Gallagher / Feb 20 2012 12:06 AM

    I love this poem!! I don’t know many people who can create a poem involving keeping house and make it sound interesting — only you, dear Rae!

  3. Betty Hayes Albright / Feb 20 2012 8:18 PM

    I really, really love this one. A poet sees poetry in everything, even the housework, and you’ve managed to weave cleaning chores into a masterpiece!!

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