Each night he pulls them off, both hands
gripping – one on toe and one on heel –
as scraps of mud fall to the kitchen floor.
He carries them outside to scrape the rest
on the steps of the back porch.
He’s gone through this routine longer
than he’s had the mutt that gallops back
and forth between his ankles, longer
than his son by his first wife has been alive,
and longer still than he’s known the woman
warming supper in the kitchen.
She knows better than to disturb
this ritual. Her presence has been welcomed
for many reasons – for meals not heated
inside frozen plastic, a raucous laugh to ring out
at his accounts of crude jokes and stories
heard beside rattling machinery, her cool body
beside his warm one in the darkness – but the breaking
of this routine is not one. And when
the door’s hinges creak behind him, she sweeps
the clods of dirt into the dustpan with a handbroom,
to be tossed into the trash before
the man who left them there returns inside.
So I’ve got this friend who write these amazing work stories (and has amazing, cool work experience), and his pieces have gotten me thinking about that kind of material. It’s just a draft for now. Since my big creative writing class starts next month, I’m hoping to get a bunch of drafts out in the next few weeks before class official begins!
(Realizing how ridiculous that sounds to 99.997% of the rest of the world. I have an uber-planning problem.)