Two years ago, I posted a parody of one of my favorite poems, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," by Wallace Stevens. My work was the result of a frustrating battle with an overstuffed closet in our garage. Two years later, it still makes me laugh.
This year's piece came about as a result of realizing one day this winter just how disheveled our home was. I had come from a car that was muddy and dirty from too slushy, wet days. The front hallway was dirty with melting puddles and the tracks leading from them. Neither of us had swept the kitchen floor or even wiped off the table that day. As for vacuuming the carpet or clearing the coffee tables, that thought was beyond our scope. For a brief moment I was overwhelmed, and then I remembered Carl Sandburg's poem, "The Grass."
Rugs, floors, towels, windshields.
Leave them alone and let me work.
I am the dirt; I cover all.
The windowsills, curtains, baseboards,
The mat at the front door;
Don't do anything and let me work.
That Sandburg guy aiming for immortality?
I covered him too.
I am the dirt.
Let me work.