Housekeeping – Natasha Trethewey


We mourn the broken things, chair legs
wrenched from their seats, chipped plates,
the threadbare clothes. We work the magic
of glue, drive the nails, mend the holes.
We save what we can, melt small pieces
of soap, gather fallen pecans, keep neck bones
for soup. Beating rugs against the house,
we watch dust, lit like stars, spreading
across the yard. Late afternoon, we draw
the blinds to cool the rooms, drive the bugs
out. My mother irons, singing, lost in reverie.
I mark the pages of a mail-order catalog,
listen for passing cars. All day we watch
for the mail, some news from a distant place.

 

This poem can be found in the volume Domestic Works: Poems.

Think about what the poem made you feel. Did any of the word choices make you crack a small smile? Did any of the imagery remind you of your childhood? Experiences you either had, or didn’t?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you tomorrow.

 

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