The Woman Sweeping Her Step

The Woman Sweeping Her Step short poem

Photo by manhhai

Every morning she sweeps the dust
That settles there on the step at her door
And evening too again she must
Sweeping away the dust from her door
The dust of the trucks, the dust of our boots
The dust of the tanks that rumble and roar
Kicking up clouds in the street all day
So rising early, taking her broom
She sweeps it away
Then once again in the evening too
Before she lies down on the bed in her room
The dust of convoys, dust of war
The dust of the dead forevermore
Kicking up clouds in the street outside
To settle there on the step at her door
She sweeps and sweeps but it all comes back
With the rumbling tanks and the grinding gears
Grinding the dead to dust in their treads
As the convoys and trucks and the tracks go by
Kicking up dust in the street outside
And it creeps inside, falls on her bread
Working its way inside her head
She locks the door and goes to bed
But it settles there too as she blows out the light
Working its way through her dreams at night
The dust from the street that hangs in a cloud
She dreams of sweeping it all away
Sweeping the dust of our boots away
Sweeping us out of her house everyday
The dust of the war, the choking dust
The thick gray dust of the dead at her door
And it hangs in a cloud in the street outside
As she sweeps and sweeps it all away
Sweeping it out of her life everyday
But it all comes back

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Bill Peeler

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My wife, Noy and I are Protestant missionaries in Cambodia. We met in a border refugee camp in Thailand back in 1979 while I was a refugee relief worker. She was a refugee. I lived and worked in Mairut Refugee Camp for three years. We have three grown kids. I was drafted into the Army in 1969, served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and honorably discharged at the end of my military obligation. Writing prose and poetry is how I document the life I'm living and how I map out the mental landscape inside my head.
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4 Comments on "The Woman Sweeping Her Step"

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Martha Gettle

a deep thought provoking poem thank you

Swathi Rao

Well thought poem…

ammu sachariah

The woman sweeping her step -is a good poem .All of think that we can sweep away the dirt.But it comes back.It is true.


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