“For all the time poets — especially female poets — spend on domestic chores,” writes Ellen Taylor of Appleton, “(little of their poetry) includes those activities.” With today’s poem about spring cleaning, she helps set things right.

Spring Cleaning

By Ellen M. Taylor

Why are there no poems of the joy

of vacuum cleaning after a long

 

winter? Of the pleasure of pulling

the couch back, sucking up cobwebs, dead 

 

flies, candy cane wrappers, cookie crumbs?

The sun rises earlier now, flooding

 

the room with daffodil light, enough

to see long unseen clumps of dog hair, 

 

wood ash, needles from holiday greens.

The vacuum crackles over a spot 

 

of gravelly dirt, until at last

the carpet pile is clean, floorboards gleam. 

 

Then, the bliss when the machine is pressed off,

no sound left but the tick, tick of the clock.
 

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2009 by Ellen M. Taylor. Reprinted from “Floating,” Moon Pie Press, 2009, by permission of Ellen M. Taylor. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, special assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at [email protected] or 228-8263.