For in relation to the absolute there is only one tense: the present.
—Søren Kierkegaard

On my to-do list, like pulling the clematis
from the yard, waist-high tangles
that would’ve been easier to yank
years ago. For now, it creeps
echoing the mildew inside
on ceiling and walls. One gets accustomed
to the smell, to stumbling when playing
with the dog. One accommodates,
as when the cheap handyman laid
a crooked floor, learning
not to trip in the dark. As long as
a single sink works, one can wash
one’s hands of the business.