It takes more than wind and sleet to
snuff my candle, my god, at my age, a
kitchen intrigue, to be installed among
the pots and pans, not the parlor where
the owner sits, and she’s no nymph.
A broken basket of odds and ends,
a dark square owl thick in the shoulders,
blowsy hair, sprung thighs, pads on
flat feet between her cupboards, hoots
from her chair, blows coffee in a saucer,
hoards affection, tires from intercourse
with words. Sure, I know all this, I’m
not blind, but, hell, she charms me and
I decorate her wall, chair tipped back,
a kettle still of use, but not worth
polish, I pat her rump as she goes
past and get a dull poke from an elbow
or knife handle as she scrapes the carrots.
I’m an adulterous bastard, while her
husband cuts wood for my fire I
scratch her itch as hooked by love
as any rooster who has caught his hen,
glad to find a spark among the ashes
and make the time seem warm.