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To Be of Use
Carol Amato


These past few early mornings
bereft of birdsong since the
squirrel knocked the feeder down.
Sounds carry here
echoing within themselves
across the wide stretch of open
flats of the bay
and even amongst our scrub-pine
wooded lots sparsely settled
so the clunking of a ladder
an acre away seems near,
opening and closing
perhaps being moved from place
to place:
a home being painted?
the pruning of high tree branches
around an old black oak?
surely not a series of cats stuck
in trees although May Eldredge
up the road called the firemen
three times for that.
Out of sight
I imagine the worker
lost in his own thoughts
as the sun, rising to fuller
late-summer strength, warms
his back
grateful for another day
of good beginnings and glad
to be of use.

© by Carol Amato.
Used here with the author’s permission.


Carol Amato says poetry has allowed her to assume many lives—to date, a much-longed-for job as a waitress, a slightly mean-spirited child, an escape artist seeking to find herself, an adventurer soaring with raptors, and more. Carol’s realities include being a language-learning specialist, a natural science educator, and the author of 11 books for Barron’s Educational Series and Backyard Pets, Nature Activities Close to Home, published by John Wiley & Sons. Carol, who lives in Boston and Cape Cod, considers herself fortunate to have both an active imagination and enough reality to survive.


Post New Comment:
It's the same hopeful energy, and it makes me happy!
Posted 08/31/2021 02:55 PM
This reminds me of a song called "Good Day" from the band Luce: Well it's a pretty good day/ I'm looking forward to tomorrow/ We'll have a pretty good day/ Yeah we'll have a good day/ So I lace my boots up and step outside/ Catch a cab because my car died/ And I go to work with my friend Dan/ Paintin' houses the best we can/
Posted 08/31/2021 02:48 PM
Lovely scenes, Carol. Also lovely is your poem, BASEBALL IN CONNECTICUT, page 73 in Jayne's Poems to Lift You UP and Make You Smile.
Posted 08/30/2021 11:33 AM
Wonderful poem, especially the first stanza. Im there!
Posted 08/30/2021 10:33 AM
Janet Leahy:
Great title for this poem and the last three lines are something I want to remember each morning. Thanks Carol.
Posted 08/30/2021 08:37 AM
Larry Schug:
To many, the ladder clunking around and making its sounds is background noise. To the poet it is inspiration and insight, adding depth to experience. Poets know the key is to pay attention.
Posted 08/30/2021 07:49 AM
Love how the speaker imagines all the possibilities for the near/far ladder sounds and how satisfied the worker must feel.
Posted 08/30/2021 06:21 AM

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