The Housewife

A poem by Fay Inchfawn

See, I am cumbered, Lord,
With serving, and with small vexatious things.
Upstairs, and down, my feet
Must hasten, sure and fleet.
So weary that I cannot heed Thy word;
So tired, I cannot now mount up with wings.
I wrestle -- how I wrestle! -- through the hours.
Nay, not with principalities, nor powers --
Dark spiritual foes of God's and man's --
But with antagonistic pots and pans:
With footmarks in the hall,
With smears upon the wall,
With doubtful ears, and small unwashen hands,
And with a babe's innumerable demands.

I toil with feverish haste, while tear-drops glisten,

(O, child of mine, be still. And listen -- listen!)

At last, I laid aside
Important work, no other hands could do
So well (I thought), no skill contrive so true.
And with my heart's door open -- open wide --
With leisured feet, and idle hands, I sat.
I, foolish, fussy, blind as any bat,
Sat down to listen, and to learn. And lo,
My thousand tasks were done the better so.

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