2010 Poetry Challenge

National Poetry Month



Dana Rowe

Dark Day Without Work

The call came, on a rainy morning,
no teachers out today.
kissed the mate goodbye with later plans
with which to claim an evening:
encounter at a verse-filled venue
in America's home-town.
But the day stretched out and what to do
over surfing internet
and napping, catching up on slumber,
or driving endlessly about.
A house completely enshambled
beckoned for attention;
was bravely ignored for many hours
(cats destroyed the kitchen.)
A trip for coffee: horrifying.
The lazy man was cowed.
Grope to feet and stuff the dishwasher,
stumble down the cellar stairs
with baskets full of dirty laundry;
set the washer humming.
Early spring chill has cooled the abode,
but there's fuel for the wood furnace:
haul over a pallet,
grab the cirular saw, start cutting.
Blade sings; oak resisting.
Flinging fuel into the firebox.
Wood sings, cast iron talks.
Hatchet pares boards to kindling sizes;
place small cache of tinder;
strike a flame with an old wooden match.
Tinder blossoms orange;
flames lick up and kiss the kindling;
hot flames rising below the fuel
leak fragrant smoke to room
(cold flues don't draw until they're heated)
and cat leaps off the stove.
Close door and listen as air roars in,
and feel the heat begin.
Luxuriate as it radiates,
oh, gosh -- look at the time!
Another dark and dreary day
has shorn away its time.
Work should be taken for its glory,
but such glory, stolen time!

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