Lawful Thievery is the Rule

“Behaviour lawless as snowflakes…”

Still Walt Whitman, still Song of Myself

It’s been that part of the movie, where we’re all in the operating room, staring at the screen on the EKG while the tone flatlines and the doctor says “clear” one last time. Five, ten seconds pass, there seems to be no hope, and then there’s a blip:

We have a pulse, everyone.

The house has the heartbeat that it’s been missing. The last piece went in yesterday – I let The Boy nail it down. Obviously the baseboards still need to go back up, but the big chore is complete. And after I cleaned up and put the tools away, I had the Spring Break feeling of freedom, of vast expanses of unclaimed time laid out ahead of me. I immediately folded laundry. But nobody told me how to fold these two garments:

They have a knack for teleportation.


I release this one annually, a small revision or two each time. It’s the sort of poem that “real poets” would not “take seriously.” But serious poets are generally a sad lot, and afraid. Maybe one day I’ll stop messing with it, I don’t know. It’s a little late coming this year, but reading the “lawless as snowflakes” line from Leaves of Grass made me realize that it was time for theft:

Summerthieves

 Autumn starts for me like this:
 an evening's cold, capricious kiss,
 chiding me to stay alert
 that I don't miss my turn to flirt.
  
 Leaves come down like lawless clocks
 along no route that rules can watch.
 They’re shouldered first, then tickle sleeves - 
 those brittle-falling Summerthieves.
  
 Ah! Here the hub of town comes near,
 with its public houses pouring beer
 colder even than the air.
 But it's so close and warm in there
  
 That I go inside against the cold,
 where I like to think we're men of old,
 and on every wooden bench and stool
 sits a girl - an honored golden rule.
  
 The Boys can leave their coats on hooks -
 The Girls will keep them warm with looks.
 Suggestive stitches, hopeful hems.
 October stalkings, autumn gems.
  
 In here we work with noble tones
 toward a sense of coming home.
 Because man is tempted to his best
 when woman is so smartly dressed.
  
 When everything to do's been done,
 we wrap the prizes we have won
 as close to us as we are able,
 and leave the rest upon the table.
  
 Warm within and cold without,
 It’s easy to forget about
 The weathers we're supposed to know,
 And on our brazen way we go. 

2 thoughts on “Lawful Thievery is the Rule

  1. That delicious feeling of euphoria when you have completed a big project. A wonderful feeling you can’t get anywhere else, well sex is really close. The new floor looks awesome. Revel in your sense of accomplishment and pride every day when you step on those new floors each morning. Congratulations, job well done!

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    1. Not done yet! Never is, really. I was up until 1:45 this morning putting two coats of polyurethane on there – whey based, low odor, fast drying. We decided we didn’t like the flat , unfinished look that we asked for, so I slapped some semi-gloss down and it is perfect. The original look would have been great for a cabin in the woods, but it didn’t quite fit what we have here. Now I just have to get all the baseboards back up.

      Like

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