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Thursday, January 30, 2020


by Charles Goodrich

Protesters hold signs near the Capitol during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Jan. 29, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images via NBC News, January 29, 2020

Toilet’s plugged
and the bathroom sink drain’s sluggish.
I was in the dumps already
over national politics.

Abuse of power.
Obstruction of justice.
I’m guessing the septic tank
is overdue for pumping. And meanwhile
we still haven’t seen his taxes.

But even glum and angry
I can still do some minor plumbing.
I run the drain-snake, work the plunger,
get the commode running.

Next, with an arm’s-length of wire,
a little hook bent into the end,
I fish a wet, gray gob of hair-gunk
from the sink’s P-trap
then pour baking soda,
salt, and vinegar down the drain
and wait for the chemical reaction to begin.

Even if the Senate trial
turns out to be a sham,
I love the sound when the blockage dissolves
and the sink drain hisses and foams.

Following a long career as a professional gardener and a decade working with the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, Charles Goodrich now grows poems and composes fruits and vegetables from his Knot House abode near Corvallis. He’s the author of three books of poetry, A Scripture of Crows; Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden; and Insects of South Corvallis, and a collection of essays, The Practice of Home, and has co-edited two anthologies, Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest and In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens. His poems and essays have appeared in Orion, High Country News, The Sun and many other journals and anthologies.