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Sunday, March 29, 2020


by Harold Oberman

Upstairs I hear the clothes in the dryer turning and falling,
Zippers staccato on inside the drum,
Rhythmless but constant like the crickets outside,
Not quite music,
                           not quite noise.

The heating coil's broken so clothes tumble
In hope movement will dry them—
Post pond dogs running loops until Fall,
Tongues out, fur against air—
In theory water losing its grasp and dripping off
From the sheer persistence of an appliance
Electric and half-crippled.

In another hour, after the sun cycles again below the horizon,
After the shadows caucus as always and proclaim it night,
Just after the evening news,
I'll walk up the stairs, check the progress,
Drape half-damp shirts on chairs like flags on coffins,
Let the thick socks rotate on,
And say to myself I should get this damn thing fixed,

This old rotating drum with revolutions grown cold.

Harold Oberman is a lawyer and poet locked down in Charleston, South Carolina.