Two loads of laundry
And the kitchen baseboards
Screaming for a cleaning.
The dishwasher done for,
Dishes waiting in both sides
Of the double sink, standing water
Worse for wear. She has
To go for groceries at two
Precisely because today her mother
Goes with her and does her own
Feeble shopping while the talk
Is of how wonderful assisted living is,
And how the proceeds from a sale of the family
Home would cover premier consideration,
If only she would consider her age
And sell. Afternoon is vacuuming,
And whichever bathroom is
Ready today for the brush
And lemon wipes. This
Is every day. I'd like to say
It is heroic, or noble, a burden
Borne in dignity and suffering.
She thinks this is her life,
Her endless time, and
She believes progress is inevitable
Even when she holds the inevitable
And watches progress escape.
I'd like to say there is something
Special or elevating or even hurtful,
But this is her life.
Years of days and nights
And each step, known and unknown,
To a conundrum where she says
Hello, I don't think we have been introduced.
And yet the happiness,
The sense of purpose,
Is as real as bitten nails,
As real as the boiling hunger in feral kittens,
As real as the misunderstanding of care.
lives with his world class power lifter wife, five rescue cats, and a new betta fish with a very large bowl, in the lower right hand corner of Virginia, just inside the ocean and before you get to the swamp. His last book was Sciences, Social and his next book he is trying to scare up a publisher for. New work is scheduled for Menacing Hedge, Canary, Siren, Cream City Review, Rattle, Asimov's and a crew of other places.