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After Chores

Text of Poem

Close down, Night.
Henry Jensen has finished his chores
and his lantern goes bobblesway bobblesway
flick-flick-flickering through long determined legs
saying, what has been said and done today has been
          done and said forever.
The worn familiar doorknob reaches out to his hand
and the house draws him in

Now is the time to relax under the lamp, to fall asleep
over the evening paper. Unroll muscles, and stretch.
Too soon you will stiffen into the last position.
What is this? porkpotatogravybread and butter
          standing ahead
of applesauce and three fat raisin cookies?
Reach out your hands, Henry Jensen, unleash your
          hunger . . .
tell me is anyone tireder than a tired man
eating his supper?

O sleep drugged head, staring endlessly
past murderers marriages crop reports and the
          stubborn fact of local items
hold up, hold up, the world confesses itself before
          your eyes
and you sink lower in deep clutched hands seeking
          the pillow.

These are the hours that no one counts when time
sneaks past your chair like a cat and the reluctant foot
has not yet found the stair
has not yet made
one quiet footstep further toward the night.

First Line
Close down, Night
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
American Prefaces 1 (Dec. 1935) 44.
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Bibliographic Notes

A "Henry Jensen" poem