Sunday Chores ~ with Poetry

Stephanie Hunt

It's a perfect day in Charleston. A Sunday, with Tarheel blue skies, bright spring sunshine percolating up to 80 degrees and way too much to choose from: Historic Charleston Foundation's House & Garden Tours, their Antiques Show, the beach, a run or bike ride to prep (last minute) for next week's Bridge Run and the After the Bridge Run bike ride, and of course, the Piggly Wiggly Shoot-Out (if you happen to have a young soccer player, as I do).  I get overwhelmed on these spring-fever weekends;  I want to cram it all in—hit all the fun events AND get my chores done AND sit down with the Sunday Times. It's impossible, so instead I surrender and take a poetry pause.


Rather than tidying the house, polishing furniture, or swooning over mahogany morsels at the Antiques Show, I offer you this from Charleston poet Barbara Hagerty (whose house is probably on the H&G tours!).  A bit of "housework" -- Literary Charleston style:

The Perfect Day

Everywhere I turn --
to billboards, t.v. ads, magazines --
philosophers of the Moment
exhort me to Grab life by the horns --
live with Gusto -- carpe Diem --

but I want to water my Geraniums
in slow motion --think
about them as Individuals,
talk out loud with my cat --Rumi --
uphold his End of the conversation, too

before vanishing into my library
with a Few books, a Ream of paper --
and build sawhorses on which to Lay
a Flimsy construction -- or two --
lathed by the stitchery of dashes --

move wobbly word towers around
or compress them into dainty sandwiches --
the cucumber ind, Without the crusts --
keeping an eye open all the while
on the progress of our local Star

As it cycles across the room
until the violet hour comes
and I must turn on the lamp.
Then, its spotlight pools on my cat and me
and we see with Satisfaction at the verge

some Nouns and Verbs, freshly carpentered,
teetering in a little stack --ready, waiting --
for the Next perfect day,
of moving words around
like the lightest of furniture.

The Perfect Day
by Barbara Hagerty

The Guest House published by Finishing Line Press