High School List
by Marilyn Zelke-Windau

strip beds
vacuum downstairs and
dust up and down
wash clothes
iron church shirts for Dad and Ray
mop kitchen floor
Carmen’s present
records, decide which to take
clean cat box
empty wastebaskets
do dishes

fold laundry
make beds
finish wash
shave legs
do outline for English paper
go to party 1PM
babysit tonight?

PHOTO: The author (left)  and Carmen Ori, Highland Park, Illinois, 1967.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem in high school study hall, seventh period, in my senior year — when I was 17. In our family, both my parents worked — my mom as a teacher, my dad in advertising. Because of this, we kids had lots of chores to do. This poem is a result of my trying to be organized, to get jobs done so I could go to a friend’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon. Reading it now makes me feel like I must have had a lot more energy as a teenager!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marilyn Zelke-Windau is a Wisconsin poet and a former elementary school art teacher. She enjoys painting with words. Her poems have appeared in many printed and online venues including Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, Your Daily Poem, Midwest Prairie Review, and several anthologies. Her chapbook Adventures in Paradise (Finishing Line Press) and self-illustrated manuscript, Momentary Ordinary  (Pebblebrook Press) were published in 2014. Owning Shadows is forthcoming in 2017 from Aldrich Press.She adds her maiden name when she writes to honor her father, who was also a writer.