Odysseus’s Mother-in-Law

Oakum seals the gaps as if a boat would talk,
                                                             people go down
to the very close walls of it and sniff
and row the seams with oakum and the ocean

dares not make a sermon of it,
though the boards be as tight as an old woman,
                                                 the old woman complains


up and down the deck, and further, that microwaves will wave
right through it, saying the hellish part—


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