Cleaning with Impediments

Maureen Tolman Flannery


Another baby will arrive any day.  Together

we are making the space worthy of its entry.

I furiously arrange, vacuum, dust, put away


on one side of the room while she,

on the other side, in a more systematic

and orderly fashion, clutters and dislocates.


All the tchotchkes are now part of her farm

and nothing is where it might otherwise belong.

She has discovered a tiny blue willow tea service


and has set up her table on a hankie.

Come joy me, I hear among her pleasantries

on both sides of the on-going conversation.


When she says it again

I realize she means me, is emphatic

and not to be kept waiting.


As I switch off the vacuum I hear her

dismiss other tea party guests.  Haba goo day.

I decide to just let the dust settle and joy her.