Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Desire for Retirement

by Roy Mash

Sometimes I envy my bed, how it gets to bask all day with the dog, 
the pair of them loafing on the quiet raft of the afternoon,
lulled in the lapping of the clock, the still life still on the wall, 
linens adrift on the shelf, the whole house awash with cushiness.
What is the work of the bed, but to bask all day with the dog? 
What is the work of the dog, but to quiver his ear at the phone? 

Somewhere is a midday world of penny loafers and bargain matinees, 
saunas and marinas and 10 speeds and laptops in strudel cafés.
Bored? Me? Not. My plan’s to saw off one day from the next, 
to produce my quota of carbon dioxide, to throw myself into the job 

of dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel 
(though, to be truthful, I may delegate this to my little finger),
to join the road gang of sleepers-in, pay my dues to Local 6 
of the lookers-out-of-windows, bow to the whims of my new boss
the TV Guide, take on the grunt work of doing zip; then every afternoon 
at four, following my meeting with the Committee of Clouds,
to return, exhausted from a long day of breathing in and out, 
to the bed and the dog, and tilt the glider of my nose 

ever so slightly down. The descent so easeful, so gradual. 
I won’t even know when I’m on the ground.



SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Roy Mash

produces his quota of carbon dioxide in Marin County, California, where he indulges in a pensioner’s sense of entitlement dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel. Staring out of windows, he is given to mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared in Agni, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Poetry East, Rhino, and River Styx among others. His first full-length book, Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove Collections), is due out later this year.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury