Spring Cleaning

2018-04-08 18.00.10

Filed under things I need to remember every day, and not just in spring.

Two Sundays ago, my UU minister read this poem by Sarah Getty to us. This morning I finally looked it up so I could read it before I started work.

 

Spring Cleaning

Open the house.
Let the sun roar in and corner
the huddling dust.
Let the March wind tear down cobwebs,
sweep out crayon-and cookie-crumbs,
Christmas needles,
smells of Vapo-rub and smoke.
In the brisk new daylight
get things straight.
Clean the hall closet. Organize your desk.
Go through your wardrobe, your game-plan, your old loves.
Sort. Evaluate.
Throw things away.

Remove the victims of winter’s grudge,
littering the yard like a battlefield.
Haul away the big black branch that’s lurked there,
like a beached squid, since January.
Lop off its limbs and stack them.
Rake slimy leaf-rot off the tulip beds.
Let clean heat reach the bulbs.

Root out the old hurts,
the cozy unsuccesses.
Forget that your sister wasn’t at your wedding,
that your father didn’t seem to like you much.
Get rid of the birthday party no one came to
and the men who never asked you out again.
Bundle the demeaning medical procedures
and leave them at the curb.

Pile up the lost job, the student evaluations,
the ideas of what your in-laws should be like.
Burn them.
Burn the time your six-year-old came home from
school
and you weren’t there.
Burn the anniversary evening that wasn’t fun.
Burn the bad poems and the rejection slips.

Be ruthless as March.
Be a lion.
Under the clean-limbed trees be fierce and neat.
Hunt out the beasties that fatten in the dark.
Let the sun scour.
Let the wind prowl and pounce.

—Sarah Getty

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