Marianne Moore

The Worker

Each cell tidy and tight with brood
what’s mine now 
is sunshine and breeze

a gyre of pleasure and labor within.
I can carry it all:
crumbs of flower, spittle and weight, 

apple tree, blueberry,
what they need but don’t want:
gloved hand or swab. 

From a crack in concrete, 
from weed
and bombshell I’ll pull

nectar and sweet, a surplus
stacked neat and ready for plunder.
My flight even 

is a beauty and my churr in the air 
the way I scatter beam 
and your attention.

But I am tired of being the sting

of closing the door in winter
and sifting wing dust and limb 
out front come spring.

I am vein in a seething heart of heat
a single platelet pumped
through the bright organ:

alone I canker and pique.
I don’t want to be
vengeance, to see 

in the world only what 
I might yet forget to lance. 
So I circle and comb, 

tend brood, carry out
the dead. I lead all 
our voices to thrum.