Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Poem of the Day

Lady in a Big Old House

Keeping the big place up exhausts her; she's harried
with chores; her days are long.
But it's worth it to have everything nice.
She straightens the news at breakfast; by ten
has carried the uglier gobbets,
like cancer statistics and civil rights,
to the garbage pail. She has a deep drawer
she needn't ever look into again for
the Wall and the rockets.

Though time is a leaky faucet she has to pretend
she doesn't hear dripping,
she's equal to most of the rest
of the cosmic mess,
(reasons missing, standards slipping,
culprits skipping)
so much to be leveled, squared, fixed
keeps her nipping;
all day she's at it.
And though she's too beat by then to give it
more than a perfunctory swipe,
last things at night she dusts off sex, that white
elephant of a wedding gift
she's never quite dared take to the attic;
then sleeps. She's busy; she's

holding up the whole wreck, just like Atlas did,
knitting small frantic decencies
for the big bare Rabelaisian bones of as-it-is;
setting her pans and pails
under the holes in the roof
when weather knocks at her gables,
mopping up a bit here and a bit there when truth
slops over the edge of the fables.

—R.E. Sebenthall,
   Acquainted with a chance of bobcats


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