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Two poems from Martin Galvin's A Way to Home, from Poet's Choice Publishing


Find out about Martin Galvin's new collection here.

Vacuum Cleaners

Once I tried to sell them used,

talked myself door to door,

offering terms. I spent

a couple years like loose change,

rang thankless bells in a fugue state.

The vacuuming I pushed, to tell the truth,

had much to do with my town’s crumbly kids.

I sold, including all attachments, ten.

I must have moved a couple of tons

of demonstration dirt in my career.

Once I guessed I was in love with one,

a blue-bagged Hoover that hummed

and purred and whispered in my ears.

It turned mean in its teens, though,

it tried to eat the cat, did eat my daughter’s

gerbils. Two. The bulges didn’t leave

my eyes for weeks. The sounds of tiny screams

became my ears. I shoved that cleaner clear

down the steps. Airborne at first, it bumped

to earth like a flightless bird, its gravid

belly up to the ears with dirt and death.

I swear I will never learn another thing

That growls around the house. I’ve left

The vacuum in the closet, gathering a quiet

dust. Mice nibble nightly at my wired heart.

The Seer Sees

I said to the seer See

And he cried but I am blind

I said to the wise man Speak

And he signed but I am dumb

I said to the loudmouth Quiet

And he laughed me down the stairs

I said to myself Be Still

And I danced the jig of the mad

I said to myself Be mad

And I cried but I am a man.

The seer said See I told you so

The wise man spoke in circles

The loudmouth snored at the sky

And I cried but I am a man.


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