A Man’s Retreat

A man’s retreat is his garage—a place
To keep his vehicle, yes; but also space
To store his manly, miscellaneous hoards:
The glues and putties; automotive oils,
Waxes, wipes, and rubbing compound; slats
Of wood; insecticide for pesky gnats;
His golf umbrella, towels, clubs, and hats;
Peg-board hooks for hanging bungee cords
And hoses; ropes and wires in loops and coils;
A cardboard box of microfiber rags;
Beer and soda cans in paper bags;
A toolbox full of hammers, wrenches, pliers;
The nuts, the bolts, the nails that he requires;
Odd cans of paint—satin, gloss, and spray;
And if he’s lucky, he’ll have a second bay;
A place to meditate like Rodin’s “Thinker”;
Where he can putz around, where he can tinker.
This masculine domain, this hodge-podge
Of stuff is his retreat—a man’s garage.



A Woman’s Domain

Don’t come between a woman and her kitchen,
Unless you want to hear the non-stop bitchin’.



Cheryl Corey is a Connecticut poet. She is also an author of short stories, a novella, and recently completed a novel. 

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8 Responses

  1. Russel Winick

    An amusing set of poems Cheryl, even for guys like me who would be guilty of malpractice for doing anything to a car other than washing it. Thanks for the laughs!

  2. James Sale

    Ha ha ha!!! Very good, Cheryl, though the man scene is absolutely not mine: when anything needs fixing in my house, the artist, my wife, Linda E Sale, is at hand and does the fixing. I am lost in books. But the genius is in your Woman’s Domain: it’s ‘succinctity’ reflects the hallowed nature of the vicinity (I guess a kind of divinity). Thanks.

  3. Norma Pain

    So very funny and clever Cheryl. This describes my husband’s garage/workshop perfectly. As for a woman’s kitchen, the only reason I use mine is so that I can stay alive. Much prefer to do dishes! Thanks to Susan for the hilarious recording of Michael MacIntyre’s Man Drawer.

  4. Margaret Coats

    An entertaining pair, Cheryl. But like most of us poets, my house is different. The living room is my husband’s man cave, and the dining room my retreat, though I have guests at dinner time. The two of us share the kitchen, and both of us maintain book storehouses not neat enough to be called libraries. Tools, paint, etc., do have a place in the garage, but overwhelmed by more books. Sounds like I have another poem here, but yours is so ingenious I plan to prefer it!

  5. C.B. Anderson

    Two great poems here, Cheryl. You have defined the two domains quite well enough, and it’s up to the rest of us to live up to it, to do our part to maintain the stereotypes.

    • Cheryl Corey

      Thanks, C.B. I failed to include one of the most important items — duct tape; and then there’s the bane of every man’s existence — the lawn mower. Oh, the curses he will utter, when the mower starts to sputter!


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