Domestic Labor


The work that must be done, of turning earth

And planting seeds, each harvest and the hearth

Where simmer pot whose redolence may mask

The weary hours of each repeating task,


And water sluicing clean each fork and knife,

The clothing too, and bodies full of life

And pain, small troubles laid at parent’s door,

To solve while pushing mop across the floor.


What grave result might fall if mother turned

Away, if father let the baby cry?

They would survive less tender, aching care –


But we don’t count – give far more than they’ve earned,

As best we may.  Take heart from a contented sigh,

And scent of roses in the garden air.