Saturday Housekeeping

by Gary Hardaway

I scatter grains with feathers. Tom and Viv
pursue the artificial wing and scratch
it when I slow. The vacuum frightens them.
They skitter to the safest seeming spots

they've found, watch warily and wait
for motes and whines to settle. Feathers, fans
and filters rearrange the week's worth
of dust. They never capture all of it

but I pretend again I've kept the prairie
out, have battled back the smoke and dirt
that, particle by particle, will bury
me. Throughout the city, thousands do.