A Woman Is the Heart of a Home
Some days, the heart wonders how
she ended up in such a responsible position,
moving the blood along and never
going anywhere herself,
never visiting the elbows or going
to see what the toes are doing.
The heart gets a hankering, some days,
for a new sentence to sing,
but an old rhythm thrums
and drums through her rooms,
a bass line, a syntax whose momentum
the heart is hard-pressed to overcome.
The hardest part is, the heart can't stop
even for a minute, wait for a second wind-
Someone will come running, counting
the seconds, pound on her like a door.
And the heart almost always relents,
beats, believes she should, accepts
what she's been told: That of all
the muscles, she is the strongest,
and most involuntary.
From ONE OF EVERYTHING (Cleveland State Univ. Press, 2003)