Poetry: Housekeeper

Thank goodness for moments of encouragement at the right time. My poem ‘Housekeeper” was selected to be performed in 2011 “Phrasings: words & dance” event in Bellingham WA.. Phrasings is a poets and dancer collaboration organized by the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers and the Bellingham Repertory Dance Company. At the time these two groups shared the same space in Fairhaven, at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center. It is a natural marriage.


I can still remember the excitement of receiving the acceptance email, AND sitting at first rehearsal watching the ladies perform my poem to dance. It was almost as beautiful as watching my children come into the world! Seriously, it was glorious! I hugged and cried on each dancer, and told them I’d love them forever like a drunken friend.  Having all that happen to me when it did was a pivot point in my poetry. It was a pat-on-the-back I’d been waiting years for. It felt like redemption.


Artistic expression is fundamental to our well-being. It is essential as an outlet. I am thankful for the rich art culture here in Bellingham. John F. Kennedy said “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him (or her).”


Thanks for visiting,



shannon p. laws | writer

People of all types
Come and go to my hotel
The same room will house
Many different lives
Some stay for less than eight hours
Others for days
Each time I reset the room
Removing the evidence of a life
I know them now when they walk in
Not by name or by hometown
I know them by their stains
The marks left behind, that I clean
For you I’ll find wine rings
Dried on the tables
Some spills on the sheets
Bottles in the garbage
For you I’ll find diapers
Filling both waste baskets
Spit-up on the bed cover
A travel crib I’ll have to take down
For you I’ll find almost nothing
You made your bed before leaving
Your shower was too quick to dirty
Changing the sheets I’ll find a sock
I clean the room
The same room
Over and over
I clean you away

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