This entry is part 11 of 73 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2011-12


Everything gets scrubbed with an old towel
torn in two, then soaked in water and soap
and bleach: baseboards, the kitchen walls,

the stone tile backsplash behind the stove.
Then bulbs are replaced in light fixtures,
the closets emptied of clothes that have

outgrown their use or usefulness.
Someone mentions that this furious
cleaning at the start of the year

has reference in the Bible, but I have
no memory of what chapter or verse. All
I know is the old soul wants to slip

away from its old moorings and into
a clean new outfit that smells of laundry
on the line. Thinned of last year’s flaking

whitewash and scoured of any traces of mold,
it wants to travel abroad and check itself
into a little hotel in a country it’s never

been to, slide the key card in the door
of a room where the sheets have been
turned down just so, and fluffy towels

wait on the rack. There are two perfect
chocolate bonbons laid out in welcome on
the pillow; and outside, the whole city waits

to be explored by morning’s first light.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← ImprovisationMy mother turns 78 and texts →

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