Broom Zen by Wren Tuatha

Broom Zen

(In memory of Charles Curtiss)

Charles’ mother is dying.
He has planed
800 miles.
Now he sweeps
her kitchen.
He sweeps the hall,
2 seconds per stroke
by the mantle clock.
“Get the stairs while
you’re at it,”
his father says.
He sweeps the living room
and the porch.
He sweeps the lawn.

His mother is awake.
She asks about his plans.
He talks of job changes.
She takes out 3 papers
and crunches numbers
on the first.
Charles makes
clarifying calculations
on the second.
She rests.

And Charles waltzes the broom.

He spreads out the pages—
her handwriting, his;
The choreography of cursive.
And one more…
He takes the unused page,
with a pause for
all symphonies in the ether,
unwritten,
and drags his dust pile
onto the page
with his mother’s broom.

by Wren Tuatha, first published in The Green Revolution and Winamop.

Guest Editor’s Note: A playful tone and a swift turn at the end sweeps through this poem (a poetic broom?), handling difficult material in a deftly dazzling way.

Please welcome Guest Editor Laura Foley from March 27-March 31, 2017.

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