The Broken Promise: A Poem

I promised you, I know, I know—
I'd wash a gravel pile of clothes
growing out the hinge-less door.
Make fresh croutons spiced
with dill, clean the fridge,
trim the mold from bricks of cheese,
iron something in the basket
sitting there since August, 1963.
Pay the bills, dust the faces
of antiques, bathe the dog,
sweep the sidewalk,
brush down cobwebs
from the closet, cook
a decent meal for once.

You come home to scattered love
smattered on alabaster tomes
of pages lingering in "us."
Your wrinkled dress shirt,
laced with sprays of my perfume.
Sleeves rolled up like
prairie corn that's headed
for a steaming pot.
I promised you, I know, I know—
You'll pair socks and I'll be wings
that mess them up, walking
in their holes and stains.
There are just times
when art's a nose of silhouette.
I do not want to leave this life
without dragging my fingers
slowly down your face and mine
as aging sets its wrinkles in.
The miniscule will have to wait.
You come home to spoondrift chaos,
knowing that the sea was there.

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