by Bethany Rountree

I don’t do sparkle.
Just maintaining keeps hands
busy enough. These days don’t flow—
they gyrate, they breakdance
panting aerobic heart rate highs
up the stairs, then down again
while in the kitchen I’m
steaming with turgidity,
fried emotion, lumpy resign.

Put my heart on spin cycle,
sweep stones from my head,
hang heavy shoulders
in autumn sunshine. I wear
misgivings like an old brown
wool jacket with my favorite
pen in the pocket.

How about a racy
jump start to the morning?
A cat walk strut
in my towel to the bathroom?

No matter what,
flaunt everything.

Bethany Rountree is a writer and stay-at-home mom, living with her husband and their three teenagers in the South Toe River Valley of the Black Mountains.

About Housecleaning — This poem stirred itself into substance after class during which we were assigned to include the words cat, pen, stone, jacket, jump, sparkle, flow, dance, a color, and a body part in a poem. For me, no matter my intention, subject, or words, the details of everyday domesticity often spill over onto the page.