Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Housekeeping by Jane Vincent Taylor

Hanging curtains, polishing mirrors, separating rooms from other rooms
          that can't be eaten in, dusting,
          fluffing pillows, whitening grout, these
          are not the domestic arts I can claim to know.
Under the sink I might as well have only my grandma's Babo,
          a jug of bleach, Dawn, Brillo pads.

House, I regret I cannot keep you polished, stylish, fit
          and congruent of aesthetic.
Now I'm banging another nail into the fading lemon yellow wall
          to hang my mother's Mexican landscape.

Sandy soil and cactus are about to blow into our rooms.
The sun is rising over an ancient mesa. Maybe
I should find a broom and be the old woman
          sweeping back the desert at the threshold of adobe.
Some days my mother, too, threw off chores to paint a picture.

Jane Vincent Taylor is a poet who lives in Oklahoma City and teaches creative writing at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Website:

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