The Composition of Dust


On Saturdays, she stays inside
to wipe away the residue of the work-week,
covering every surface of the house like dust.

She scrubs and scours every seam,
in between feeding machines
constant cycles of dirty then clean.

All the while, she knows, in the kitchen,
fruit on the counter is going soft in spots
and dates are threatening to expire.
Even in the freezer, things are beginning to burn.

But on Saturdays, he stays outside in the circumference of the yard,
He slices through the limbs of bushes and trunks of trees,
hacks back foreign vines that threaten the fence line. Piles their carcasses high on the burn pile.

All the while, he knows, weeds are sneaking into their beds
and unseen insects tunnel underground
searching for holes in the foundation to
lay their larvae in.

There is no end to a week.
For things left too long untouched
harden and cling to surfaces.
Even soap leaves behind a scum.


At the end of the day when he comes back inside,
the outside follows him in.
Pollen particles float off his clothes.
They mix and mingle with everyday molecules of skin, lint, and hair.

It forms an invisible haze.
That is…until the sun shines in.
Then they see it fills the house,
already falling over every clean surface.



About Heidi Stauff throughsinaisand

Ultimately ending up in Atlanta, Heidi's creative impulses followed many paths. She delivered middle-class, white-girl, angst to tens and twenties of Generation-Xers through the now defunct rock-band, Belljar. She designed hundreds of dresses for Disney-bound little girls. She birthed two babies she now homeschools, lost and then found her faith again, and writes about all of it in her free time: which is usually after midnight with a glass or three of wine.
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6 Responses to The Composition of Dust

  1. Bela Johnson says:

    I truly love your writing. It makes my vision come alive, and I’m right there with you. ❤


  2. Nice visuals. I could ‘see’ this poem.


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