Beside the wilted head of lettuce
in the refrigerator’s neglected bottom drawer
are two soggy tomatoes, now with soft gray fur.
And in the corner of the bedroom,
the treadmill, 8000 model, stands forlorn–
being better suited to holding today’s casually tossed
shirt and pants
than to counting endless miles I did not run
in the park
or beside the river. No, all it has to count is up to two–
one brown sock draped over the rail, its mate
flopped on the shiny black tread.
All around the apartment I can find
of the best intentions that came
to nothing more than the letter I did not write
to Grandmother on the card-stock
with the New York Harbor photo–
its royal water taking in the morning sun
and glistening towers rising from the surf-slapped slate;
or the Ives sonata I never learned
which now gathers dust on the music stand.
Perhaps better not to look
at the New England guidebook still with price tags
for delightfully abstract weekend getaways,
the pristine crock-pot in the kitchen cupboard
with the slow-cooker recipes–to save
all kinds of money–
and the print I never hung–you know,
the one of the woolen sheep
herded up the steep slope with the Irish cliffs
tumbling down into the wild blue sea.
No, tonight it is enough
as I pad across the hardwood floors
of my bedroom–now October-brisk–
and crawl under the comforter I meant to wash
to be satisfied with the things I did do
and leave tasks undone to the morning
with its bright ambition
and bushy energetic tail.
Yes, there is another day to mop the kitchen floor
and finally open that 12-pack of
mint-flavor floss, six yards per roll.
Yes, I think Emily would understand,
as I reach past the tome of her Dickensonian rhyme
and with a click of the lamp,
send the room into dark, peaceful sleep.