Mmmm, this is not bad, not bad at all.

The instructor’s words ring in my brain.

Yes, this is good. You should send this out.

These sweet words must be savored,

captured in print to be looked at again and again,

polished and embraced.

Now I know my course.

Do you detect, husband, a new found slovenliness of manner,

A disregard for personal appearance?

Is the house less than perfect

piles of books left carelessly about,

the latest copy of The New York Review of Books,

sundry newspapers and literary journals

casually to hand?

Why, of course, I am a writer.

No time for the distraction of dusting.

I can settle down surrounded by books,

a dish of salted peanuts by my side

a writer cuts a dash with her mind not with a trim figure

and happily munch away an hour or two absorbed in reading.

Perhaps a selection of character sketches by Max Eastman,

a study of the creative and the great.

After all, I share their artistic impulse,

no matter how small a portion.

I too am a writer. And must read, must think,

Must make time to take stock, observe the minutiae.

The next writing class approaches.

I must be ready.

But wait. What’s this? I’ve had my turn?

Ah well, that gives me just enough time to load the laundry.

Arntzenius was born in Scotland and moved to Princeton in 1998. She has written for U.S. 1, the Princeton Packet, Town Topics, Princeton Magazine, and others and published numerous poems. She is a member of the U.S. 1 Poets Cooperative.

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