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