Housewife as Poet

I have scrawled audible lifelines along the edges
of the lint trap, dropping the ball of towel fuzz
in the blue bin lined with a thirteen-gallon bag.
My sons' wardrobes lounge on their bedroom floors,
then sidle down to the basement, where I look
forward to the warmth of their waistbands
when I pluck them from the dryer.
Sometimes I wonder why my husband
worries about debt and I wish he wouldn't.
Sometimes I wonder how high the alfalfa
will grow. Sometimes I wonder if the dog
will throw up in the night. Like my mother,
I'm learning not to tamper with anger.
It appears as reliably as the washing machine
thumps and threatens to lurch across the floor
away from the electrical outlet. Nothing's worth
getting worked up about, except for death.
And when I think of the people I have lost,
I wish them back into their button-down shirts,
their raspberry tights.

Poem copyright ©2017 by Sally Van Doren, "Housewife as Poet," from Promise, (Louisiana State Univ. Press, 2017). Poem reprinted by permission of Sally Van Doren and the publisher.