“Clear out the clutter,” but
I continue to accumulate.
First, I must clean up this room.
Papers, papers everywhere...
pencils need sharpening,
files need straightening;
there are lists of things I should do each day,
lists of things I should do this year,
lists of things I should do before I die--
and do I do them?
I continue to accumulate, mountains of clutter.
Even my bed gets crowded,
not with bodies
but with piles of papers.
Then there are clippings
thought to be of interest to some friend.
Quotations (oh how I love those).
I have even made a collection of quotations I like
on 3 X 5 cards
which I keep in a box in my closet--
also full of clutter.
Clothes are the least of it.
I am thinking of ridding myself
of clothes I have not worn for five years,
but so far, they still reside
in my closet, taking up room I could use
for my files:
more quotations, more papers.
It is as though I am afraid my brain
cannot hold all those comments
by authors unknown to me.
I sometimes wonder--
did they suffer from clutter too?
I am sure, like me, they do not allow their spouses
to go into a frenzy of cleaning
in their sacred place.
That would be cause for divorce.
I think about putting up more shelves.
The ones I have are crowded to overflowing,
and I need more space.
But would that solve my problem?
Probably not.... I would just use more shelves
as an excuse to collect.
Is there help for one like me?
Others have tried.
Someone once gave me two thick pads of lined paper.
At the top of each page was the phrase
“Things to do today.”
Their instinct was kindly,
but of no earthly use to me.
I dream of an empty room,
painted white, even the floor.
It contains one chair, a small table,
an empty notebook,
and a lavender pen with a fine point.
© Peggy Latham, 2012
|Two officials of the New York City Tenement House Department|
inspect a cluttered basement living room, ca. 1900 ~
NARA photo, Wikimedia Commons