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Love Song
by Karen Loeb

I could replace the batteries
in the smoke alarms, all six of them.
I could dust the basement stairs
or wash out the trash can under the sink
and change the plastic sack, or I could
do both! I could feed the cat. She's
been lobbying me all morning to put
food down and ruffle the fur on her back.
It's only mid-day, but I could read the novel
I'm involved with instead of waiting
till I get in bed. I could do a crossword—
never a bad time to keep those brain cells
limber. I could undo the hose
from the spigot and shut the water off.
Winter's coming. Winter's always
coming in Wisconsin. I could go to lunch
with my husband, or linger in his arms
when he hugs me goodbye. There are
so many things that need attending.
All of them have particular charms.
Creating a dinner that everyone will eat.
Picking tomatoes before the freeze.
Pulling out the air conditioner.
Putting in the storms.
Finally getting to that pile of mending—
buttons, hems, seams split open.
Truthfully, none of these appeals to me,
except the husband one. So I think
I'll catch him on the threshold
as he leaves to trim the hedge or hit the gym.
I'll whisper, to hell with this task or
that chore. Instead, we'll agree enough's
enough, decide to stay home, close the door.


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