THROWING IN THE TOWEL
Mildew marks the water's path down bathroom
walls where ventilation never reaches.
Scrubbing with a well-worn sponge, noxious fumes
fog my daydreams and the doing bleaches
black and blue depression gray. This teaches
me the value of the labor. A voice
from somewhere calls: my mother? It preaches
once again of duty, constancy: "Boys
want a wife with sense, one who knows the joys
of keeping house and pleasing them." I smile,
my skills would not impress. How it annoys
that housework is the true way to beguile!
If scrubbing toilets saves the marriage tie,
I'd rather live alone, seat down, butt dry.