by margot wizansky, brookline, ma

Tethered to work, the way
the milk cow’s tied all day
to the tree. He has everything
he needs.

For him, work is the only way of being,
like vacation, a call to be useful.
He saves the evidence, even the files
of everyone he met and didn’t hire,
his office overflowing.

and the trappings of his life, he saves:
leftover lengths of pipe he cut
for ling-ago household fixes,
still in the basement,
and every pair of shows he’s ever worn.
He holds on tight to me,
for which I’m not complaining.

Only on his sailboat, when noonday
sun makes the bay’s constant chop
leap into flame, he switches off
the diesel, sits in the stern,
lets his hand go loose on the tiller.

Only then does he let the wind take over,
let the clock run back.