Night Chores

She hears the creek,
It’s voice burbling
In the darkness
Just as it does this time
Every year,
The heavy snows
Melting
To run down the mountain sides
Promise flowing,
Flooding
Within cold water,

And she wonders
If it will wash away
The bleakness
That has been the winter too
Or if that will persist
Even through the sprouting
Of green grasses,
The blooming of jonquils
Of tulips.

And she cradles the cold pans,
Metal clanking on metal
As her head lamp casts
Its beam
Back and forth,
Back and forth,
Searching,
While she calls,
She calls,
She calls…

And she waits,
The stars not shining,
Through heavy clouds
That she knows
No longer hold white flakes.
From the smell on the air
She can tell they hold nothing at all,
Not for her,
Not on this night,
Their purpose only
To block the celestial light
To emphasize the suspense,
To keep her guessing,

And then there’s the rumbling whicker,
The two pairs of glowing lights
That reflect her searching beam,
Pinpricks of life from out of shadows,
Jewels in velvet,

And, with the soft thudding
Of enormous feet
Dark shapes
Hulk out of the gloom,

And she touches each one
As they nose into the pans,
Their shaggy coats coming away
By the handsful,
Covering her fingers with hair
That is no longer needed
In this warming season.

And she pats,
Though she really shouldn’t,
Giving them her best whicker back,

And the creaking of the gate latch
Says to her once again
That they are well,
They are safe,

And running water
In the background of night
Declares the spring.

©2019 Annette Meserve

Outage

A day without power
Is alright as one
And the flakes they do cower
Away from the sun.

When they come ever forth
In swirls and in piles
Out of the north
And we, all the while

Flip switches and handles
When we walk in a room
Or forget the candles
When we go in to groom

It can be a day
Of coffee and books
Of snuggling away
In soft little nooks

No electricity required
For the day to be fun
Schedules rewired
When the day is just one.

But what if it’s two
Or three and then four?
What do we do
When it stretches to more?

When light switches stay dark
Water handles stay dry
Its no longer a lark
For you nor for I

Oh! The bottles are fewer
The patience grows thin
For the needs if the sewer
Without and within.

And for food one must tromp
Out there in the yard
Through the snow you must stomp
For meat and Swiss chard

Out for your breakfasts
To the coolers you must go
Out to the ice chests
Sunk in the snow.

But the snow it does dwindle
As the days pass on by
And still do we kindle
Our hopes as we sigh

Through the fourth to the fifth
And again it starts snowing
It’s only a skiff
But with it is growing

Our frustration and worry
That the technicians out there
Are not in a hurry
To give us our share

Of electrons to use
And we’re soon afraid
As they call to excuse
The mess that’s been made

By the wind and the snow
And still they do promise
That by tomorrow
The lights indeed Will be on us

Then comes the buzz
Of the fourwheeler man
Coming to tell ’cause
He finally can

That, despite the new snow,
In minutes count twenty
The power will flow
In electrons aplenty

And as he has said
It does come to pass
In the lamp by the bed
There is light there at last.

©2017 Annette Meserve