This lack of poetry
is a curious conundrum
for a poet.
So many words I should
odes to winter's frozen beauty,
'plaints of bitter cold.
Perhaps a sonnet or sollioquy
to cardinal or squirrel
who daily come to feed
at proffered meals of seed and corn.
Perhaps sestina or cinquain
lamenting loss of meadows,
flowers, trees and greenery
unable to continue without warmth and sun.
I find this lack of inspiration
as if my soul is frozen
in this endless, icy tomb.
Beginning with the towels,
a special day without detergents
one load with vinegar
a second with baking soda
to restore absorbency and fluffiness
four loads in all, too many towels
to do at once. Then bedclothes,
sheets and pillowcases,
flannel and fleece,
clean bedding to caress the skin at night.
And ordinary things to follow,
the week's parade of fleece and cotton, denim,
underclothes and socks,
divided into piles of dark and light and delicates.
Routines become our lives,
the necessary items we cannot escape
done for the sake of cleanliness,
respect for self and others, and decency.
The Responsibility of Pets
Sleeping in for me is 6 am,
any later, and Olivia will lightly paw
my cheek, her bladder urging her
to be relieved, so I must rise,
dress, wander down the stairs,
turn off alarm, array her majesty
in sweater, and allow her access
to the yard where yesterday,
bundled in ski vest and bibs,
heavy boots and jacket,
balaclava, gloves and goggles,
and armed with bright orange plastic shovel,
I removed the snow from sidewalk and the path
where she takes her constitutional.
While she attends to morning needs,
I pour fresh water in her bowl,
scoop food from can to dish,
and set about the human needs
of coffee, eggs, and sundry items to consume,
until I hear her scratching at the metal of the door,
bring her in, remove her sweater,
and tell her what a good girl she has been.
She tolerates my fawning for a moment,
then patters cross the kitchen floor
to lap at fresh water. When she has had her fill
she crosses underfoot to curl beside my chair
where I will sit to read my Bible,
eat my breakfast, but only after
I have set her bowl beside me.