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26 March 2008

Women do invisible work


Invisible Work 

Because no one could ever praise me enough,

because I don't mean these poems only

but the unseen

unbelievable effort it takes to live

the life that goes on between them,

I think all the time about invisible work.

About the young mother on Welfare

I interviewed years ago,

who said, "It's hard.

You bring him to the park,

run rings around yourself keeping him safe,

cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for dinner,

and there's no one

to say what a good job you're doing,

how you were patient and loving

for the thousandth time even though you had a


And I, who am used to feeling sorry for myself

because I am lonely,

when all the while,

as the Chippewa poem says, I am being carried

by great winds across the sky,

thought of the invisible work that stitches up the

world day and night,

the slow, unglamorous work of healing,

the way worms in the garden

tunnel ceaselessly so the earth can breathe

and bees ransack this world into being,

while owls and poets stalk shadows,

our loneliest labors under the moon.

There are mothers

for everything, and the sea

is a mother too,

whispering and whispering to us

long after we have stopped listening.

I stopped and let myself lean

a moment, against the blue

shoulder of the air. The work

of my heart

is the work of the world's heart.

There is no other art.

- Alison Luterman


Wow. Sent to me by a 37days reader named Lee Hancock. My thanks, Lee. This one made my heart skip a beat.


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Oh, wow. Thanks to Lee and you! I will remember the worms and bees. And poets.

that's awesome! I love it, thanks for sharing.

just absolutely beautiful!

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