The plumber, DS Maolalai

Marilyn Higginson, Autumn Storm, Oil on Wrapped Canvas, 48″ X 60″

The plumber


in the flat next door
the landlord
is fixing the pipes. through
my kitchen
a smell rises;
rotten vegetables
and dirt
left moldering
in the drain.

through my window
the sounds come in;
easy conversation
about travel
and the best ways to cook chicken
without losing the fat.
I get so little time
to hide myself
in silence.
must these reminders
that most people are easy
stalk me
when I’m enjoying
being alone?

like the smell of bacon rinds
and broccoli
and brown stains
from rising water
on my soaking

DS Maolalai


Review by Claire Scott

A really good poem about the invasion of silence. I like the details: “bacon rinds/and broccoli and brown stains.” Nice sounds. I like the speaker’s need for silence wrapped in a longing for “easy” connection, (or vice versa). I would like to know a bit more about the speaker, so he or she comes alive. Do you think using “easy” twice adds to the poem? The stanza is wonderful. Intrusion in spite of herself/himself. And what an intrusion!

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