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

cycles of dirty then clean.

All the while she knows.

In the kitchen

fruit on the counter

is going soft in spots.

Dates threaten to expire.

In the freezer things are beginning to burn.

On Saturdays he stays outside 

in the circumference of the yard,

slicing limbs off bushes and trunks of trees

He hacks back foreign vines 

threatening the fence line. 

Piles their carcasses high on the burn pile.

But all the while he knows 

weeds are sneaking into their beds

unseen insects tunnel underground

searching for holes in the foundation

 to lay their larvae in.
There is no end to the week.

Things left too long untouched

harden and cling to surfaces.

Even soap leaves behind a scum.

At the end of the day he comes back inside.

Pollen particles float from his clothes

and mix and mingle with the everyday

molecules of skin, lint and hair.

Then, for a second in the sunlight

streaming through the open door,

they see the invisible become visible.

filling the house,


        falling down

           over every clean surface.



About Heidi Stauff

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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