Poetry: "To Do" by Elyse Friedman

can’t
seem to
keep up
with
things
all the
day to day
things
that demand
attention
like
laundry
groceries
phone bills
cleaning
the endless dirty dishes

the nonstop dust and debris
take out the recycling
take the vitamins
keep the teeth flossed
and gray out of the hair
shave the pits and legs
and water the plants
return movies and
emails, and phone calls
from my father
buy batteries
for the walkman
the converter
the discman
charge batteries

for the cell phone
the camera
the computer
buy
all the things that
endlessly need to be
bought
toilet paper
coffee
orange juice
tampons
stamps
diskettes
chapstick and apples
collect receipts
sort receipts
tally receipts
do taxes
buy lottery tickets
and check them
check the breasts for lumps
make dental appointments
keep doctor appointments
file GST reports
get the hair cut
send birthday greetings
and wedding gifts
keep toenails clipped
and floors swept
lift weights
do Pilates
yoga
aerobics
pluck the eyebrows
once in a while
for fuck sake

not to mention Christmas
which happens every six
months now

it’s amazing
i had time to
write this

Elyse Friedman has written a book of poetry, Know Your Monkey, and two novels, Then Again (shortlisted for the 2000 Trillium Book Award) and Waking Beauty. Her poems and short stories have appeared in literary journals across Canada and in the United States. Elyse lives in Toronto.