THE HOUSEWIFE - Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman Poems


Poems » charlotte anna perkins gilman » the housewife


Here is the House to hold me -- cradle of all the race;
Here is my lord and my love, here are my children dear --
Here is the House enclosing, the dear-loved dwelling place;
Why should I ever weary for aught that I find not here?

Here for the hours of the day and the hours of the night;
Bound with the bands of Duty, rivetted tight;
Duty older than Adam -- Duty that saw
Acceptance utter and hopeless in the eyes of the serving squaw.

Food and the serving of food -- that is my daylong care;
What and when we shall eat, what and how we shall wear;
Soiling and cleaning of things -- that is my task in the main --
Soil them and clean them and soil them -- soil them and clean them again.

To work at my trade by the dozen and never a trade to know;
To plan like a Chinese puzzle -- fitting and changing so;
To think of a thousand details, each in a thousand ways;
For my own immediate people and a possible love and praise.

My mind is trodden in circles, tiresome, narrow and hard,
Useful, commonplace, private -- simply a small back-yard;
And I the Mother of Nations! -- Blind their struggle and vain! --
I cover the earth with my children -- each with a housewife's brain.