Accounting

By Todd Boss Todd Boss
Its fine
incisors
grinding

my mother
fed my
father’s
fledgling
carpentry
concern
into her
adding
machine

as if its
hunger
could be
satisfied

costs and
savings
spooling
to our
wooden
kitchen
floor and
pooling

amounting
to nothing

a shop tool’s
shavings.

Source: Poetry (October 2012).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2012
 Todd  Boss

Biography

Poet Todd Boss grew up on a cattle farm in Wisconsin, and was educated at St. Olaf College and the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he received an MFA. Boss’s pared-down, idea-driven poems are propelled by internal rhyme and balance clarity with a nuanced attention to sound. “I think of poems as pieces of music, or a work of architecture,” he told the Utne Reader in 2009. “The poem is a space that you’re inviting someone . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.