October 26, 2006

Back to Work

I spend my days
at a desk
against a wall
beneath a clock
behind a door.

On my desk
sits a computer,
hinged open and leaning
against a stack
of unopened, unread
paid-for periodicals.

in my life before now
has given me
an expectation
for smooth water.

I catch myself thinking
about the longed-for
day in the no-doubt-distant
future when
it all changes:

the wall grows a window,
the clock stops,
the door opens,
and the weight of the undone

I catch myself.
And then I get back to work.

(Thanks to the folks at Poetry Thursday
for their continuing inspiration.)


Suzan Abrams, email: suzanabrams@live.co.uk said...

Hi Shelley,
You lifted something from the ordinary and then made it all sound magic!
I loved this poem.

Shelley said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Susan! The cadence of this piece is definitely inspired by a poem by my friend Becky Birtha entitled "The Door," which I blogged a while back (too busy to go find it at the moment, but it was a Thursday)!

I thought about "I Catch Myself" and
"I Spend My Days" as alternate titles... any readers with opinions on the matter are encouraged to chime in.

Anonymous said...

I love how the opening stanza shoves you farther away from where you want to be, with each line. Each feels like a shovel full of dirt! May that longed-for day come sooner than later. Wonderful poem.

Maya's Granny said...

So expressive. I love it.

sophie said...


you need a jar of colorful markers
beside that computer...


Anonymous said...

I love how that line "I catch myself" jolts you back to work. If you used "I Catch Myself" as the title, the line wouldn't pack as much punch, in my opinion. I like it as is, "Back to Work." Thanks for sharing.

Stacy said...

This is most lovely.

And perhaps it is the reminder we all need: sometimes you've got to open the door and walk out yourself, because in the end you'll be much better at what you do because you looked out the window and thought about what else might be.