The domestic arts

I can hang out here

Alone for the weekend,

I’m doing a little yard work,

A little cooking and cleaning.

Activities I used to have

No patience for:

The juicy smell of grass

Fresh cut with an electric mower;

How the heavy snake of water from the

Emerald garden hose is cool but not frigid;

The sizzle of chopped yellow onions

In hot olive oil,

Then garlic mince,

A carpet of ground thyme,

Flecks of basil and oregano,

Cubed tomatoes:

A marinara sauce to be

Dumped over a nest of pasta strings,

Eaten slowly

At a freshly wiped table

While I measure with my eye

The straightness of the folded throw blanket

Draped on the arm of the couch.

I have even folded

All the plastic grocery bags

Into triangles,

Like flags,

And they’re tucked in the kitchen drawer

Under the window.

I used to scoff at

Learning these skills,

Satisfying the

Basic human needs

With a little grace,

A little dignity,

Even some flair.

I had no time.


I enjoy these honorable, repetitive tasks

That are undone within hours or even

Minutes of completion.

It takes a gentle,


Patient touch

That I don’t naturally possess,

But could maybe learn.

I want to learn.