Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The backpacks dropped on the floor just inside the door near the bottom of the stairs are heavy.
I keep stubbing my toes on them, pausing to cast a disappointed look at the basket sitting empty
beside them;
it is the job of this basket to corral the backpacks.

The breakfast dishes from each morning greet me at the end of each long day.
I cringe at the bits of dried-on food, trying in vain to avoid noticing the mostly empty dishwasher sitting
inches away;
it is the job of this machine to keep dishes out of sight.

The laundry basket sits tipped on one side just inside the door of the tiny laundry room.
I cannot open the door to get to the dryer without a complicated dance with the door
and the pile of clean clothes;
it is the job of this basket to contain those clothes.

The refrigerator packed full with food just two days ago appears alarmingly empty again.
I fill it regularly, making sure that there is food to feed five hungry people for at least
one work week;
it is the job of the refrigerator to be full of food.

All these undone jobs mock me as I walk from room to room day in and day out.
I issue clear reminders, simplifying as much as possible so there is no
confusion over what to do;
it is my job to see the jobs get done.


  1. I love the way you've personified these items. I too often wish that the vacuum would do its job of getting all the dog hair. I wish I could fire it sometimes. We tried getting a roomba and the dust bunnies kidnapped and tortured it.

  2. I love the structure of this with the repeating phrase "it is the job of . . ." The jobs will be done and we know who will do them.

  3. This post made me chuckle! I often thought when my sons left home that I wouldn't have these issues. But, alas, the dishwasher doesn't fill itself, the vacuum doesn't clean by itself....
    Great use of repetition!

  4. I don't know whether it's humorous or plaintive, so your poem is wonderful in its complexity, its story, and the repetition. Lovely to read.

  5. Love the personification! I could relate to every single one of those jobs. Somedays all those little jobs really add up to wear you down.

  6. My favorite lines include how you give a disappointed look to the basket sitting empty and how you issue clear reminders "simplifying as much as possible". I think this a wonderful example for using personification.