Oh, Martha

  • Post category:Blog / Poetry

If I keep house the way you advise
my hands would turn raw, calloused
and bleached, my knees
bony and bent, my back
hooked into a comma.

If I’d wash windows your way
I’d flip off the ladder and land
on bedrock, dead in a drumbeat or slip
off the roof on yellow grit or drop
straight through
the skylight

splashing back in the kitchen
sink where I belong (ha)
to sponge and polish glasses
and silver spoons
or I’d cream butter, separate
eggs and beat whites to bake
a cake for my man, a light
and creamy slice of myself,
chewed and swallowed.

If I’d organize my closets—
suits, skirts, dresses, pants
lined up by colour and shape –
ironed shirts and blouses
all washed and hung on the line
before I shower or create my face —
for my day job, after I grind
and press the coffee
cut toast in triangles – always
a smile on my painted lips.

If I’d fold and roll my t-shirts, tank tops
panties and nighties your way,
arrayed by size and fit, all
will bode well in my world, only
thing is my body

and I’d never write a poem or novel
nor would you call with an award
or stamp approval
from your jailhouse cell.

April 23, 2024 Napowrimo

write a poem about, or involving, a superhero, taking your inspiration from these four poems in which Lucille Clifton addresses Clark Kent/Superman.