The Irish Girl At Close Of Day
I tried to wash a small rug,
But the fringed ends got hung up with the agitator,
And poisoned my machine from within.
By the time I heard the buzzer,
There was only black water that wouldn't drain
And a hot smell in the air.
Things break down--
I can't fix them.
Things fall apart--
I can't even pay somebody to fix them.
My car is old,
Not looking so good--
I know just how it feels.
Things go to hell and there's nothing I can do.
I had a love--
Now she's gone,
And time just goes on.
If I knew it was the last time,
If I had even thought it was the last time,
I'd have quit my job;
Smashed my watch;
Started living in my car.
I have all these poems,
Like faces in a movie house.
Last summer, they set off fireworks over the park,
And, with the rest, I oohed and ahhed.
Then we went home, each a different way,
And summer dragged on.
Now it is September--
Things break down,
And I can't fix them.
Things fall apart,
And I can't even pay somebody to fix them.
I am sober,
But I want to get high.
I want to listen to Joni and Melissa,
--those familiar songs--
But my stereo won't play the way it should,
So I did dishes in the silence
And recited Yeats in my head as best I could recall it--
Until the day gave it up, fading, irretrievable,
And it was late enough to go to bed.