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Rusty Steps

Walking up my steps in the rain, cold, tired and hungry carrying a heavy load, I pause unable to avert my gaze from the tragedy beneath my feet.  Gaping rusted wounds ooze dust filled metallic blood lamenting my every step, mourning decisions, begging for mercy and assistance.  I wonder why they have chosen us or us them.  I’m hoping the drenching rain keeps the rust heavy so it settles by the front door saving me from sweeping for the umpteenth time today.  I’d rather the rust not embed itself in my children’s delicate bare feet or my son’s mouth.

Scarlet and orange, angry, ablaze and scornful the front steps lie in a state of disrepair, helpless in healing their plight, reliant on tenants.  The gashes were bandaged with ill contrived rejuvenation and fresh paint, now peeling, exposing deep wounds.

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Timepiece

Several years ago for Christmas, my husband bought me a beautiful silver tone watch with a black leather band; he chose this watch for its elegance and its size.  The face is small and the strap delicate, soft and pliable the perfect fit for my slight wrists.

The first time I wore my watch it broke.  I wore it maybe a few hours at most.  The frame surrounding the date located near the VI fell off and lodged itself underneath the minute hand.  It took me ages to send it out to be repaired.

Running out the door the other day, later than I should as is often the case; I grabbed my watch and stuffed it into the back of the diaper bag.  Once the kids were strapped in, I started the car and affixed my timepiece to my wrist.  It wasn’t until I was standing in the store that I noticed my watch had stopped.  A dead battery I mused?  Then I noticed the date, 14…it was no longer the 14th.  After further examination, I realized the frame was once again dislodged and stuck underneath the minute hand, rendering it forever 6:08 on the 14th.  At first I thought it befitting I should have a broken watch.  I’m seldom prompt.  I am either very early or a few minutes late.  Try as I might to plan and prepare for inevitable distractions and delays.

Staring at my broken watch, cursing its fault I notice just how quickly the days have elapsed.  They’ve escaped me, without my realizing.  My watch is trying to grant me the extra time I am always pleading for.  There is never enough time to finish everything; every time I turn around another day has passed, another month, another year, a tumult of events leaving me wondering how so much has changed, how the kids have gotten so big, why so much hasn’t changed.

It seems impossible my son is nearly a year old and my daughter is nearing five.  Time feels like it’s stealing her childhood, that I cannot keep pace.  In my constant rush and distraction she has somehow gone from a baby to a little girl.  I wish I could hold my kids a little longer, make time stop for them, for me I guess.  I wish I could kiss my daughter as a baby again, take that extra time to play with her instead of washing the kitchen floor for the second time.  I realize all of the time I’ve lost rushing around, worrying about inane things or running around to accomplish what felt like a vital task.

I watch my son running now and cannot believe a year ago he was not born.  Yet life beckons, clocks tick, second hands chastise me for not finishing what I have to, for not leaving when I am supposed to.  I can’t seem to slow time down, to slow myself down to stop.  Rote daily routines turn into ridiculous ritual all the while time speeds forward mocking me.

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Precipice of a Decade

Standing on the precipice of a decade overlooking the vast plains of my mind and unexplored surroundings, peering into my future, standing in the past, I feel my insecurities melting, crumbling into bits of rock dust mimicking the dust strewn rock under my boot clad feet.  Disowned and earthbound, my insecurities take flight with each gust of wind and gentle breeze.  They tangle my hair and graze my face but I’ve little attention to spare them.  I find letting go of my strangle hold on reality, of my sterile world of instant pocket-sized hand sanitizer, abruptly simpler, more desirable.  I accept life’s complexity and scorn inertia, awakening.  I see my children’s eyes filled with the promise of the world.  I understand.

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Over-stimulation

Frazzled, exhausted, defeated, I climb into my chilled bed begging sleep’s solace.  Even dream disturbed rest would suffice.  Lying curled up under layer upon layer of blankets, my weary, restless body freezes.  I close my eyes attempting slumber.  Alas, this morning’s coffee is still ping-ponging around my body. My muscles burst and twitch as I force artificial stillness.  Feeling the minutes evaporate and near tears I ponder giving in and getting up.   Two months ago, no amount of caffeine would have kept me from sleep.  Perhaps I’m not as tired as I think I am; perhaps my body has readjusted to lack of sleep as it has countless times to life’s changes.  Though I lay stubbornly awake I can’t move; I don’t want to.  If I get up and try to be productive I will need more coffee to have the necessary energy to accomplish anything.  Like my body, my mind is ill at ease, tired and at odds with itself, struggling to fulfill my obligations without sacrificing happiness and without forgetting to enjoy my family and my life.  Struggling to regain control over something I once pretended I held control over.  I continue my immobile vigil as tumultuous thoughts drain all my remaining fuel.  In my forceful pursuit of respite, I feel the constraints of time release me, my mind and body slip into the space between minutes.  Letting go, I unbeknownst to me drift off.

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Sink Full of Dirty Dishes

Sink Full of Dirty Dishes

I harbor more disdain for washing dishes than should be possible to feel for any mundane household chore or task.  The majority of the time when visitors come to my house they find at least a few items in the sink for which I will, of course, apologize.  I don’t often subscribe to the wash the dishes the moment you’ve finished with them philosophy.  With two children, a husband and logic, to say the least, I should in order to make my dish washing life simpler.  But there is always something else to do, always something more important or appealing, like attending to my screaming son.  Not to mention the flood of disgust and annoyance I feel every time I look at a slimy, food encrusted plate, cup, bowl, pot or pan.  The silverware produces fervent resentment unmatched by that of anything else.

It’s not the dirtiness that irks me.  I am far from squeamish.  The frequency and repetitious monotony of standing at a sink with hot water and soap, scrubbing, is unbearable.  Dishes get dirty, constantly, incessantly.  Not five minutes after I’ve completed washing everything stuffed into the sink, an offensive, oppressive object appears.  Washing dishes should be thoughtless second nature by now, a time in which I can reflect, muse or organize my to-do list.  Instead, washing dishes is a distraction, a semi-reachable itch whose edges I claw at in vain straining to curb the horrible, unrelenting burning sensation.  Constrained and vanquished, my dishes mock me from their shallow, food encrusted pit.

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Broken Glass

This morning bleary eyed and exhausted, I lurched the refrigerator door open to grab  milk for my coffee sending the long-stemmed wine glass I had set atop the night before, sailing to the floor.  The glass shattered, almost exploded, into hundreds or thousands of various sized shards and fragments, luminaries, littering my kitchen floor; reminders of my exhausted carelessness.  Even wearing flip-flops, I managed to get a small fragment embedded in the bottom of my left foot.

I directed my daughter who up until this moment was content with watching television on the living room couch, not to enter the kitchen while my suddenly awake senses surveyed my small, early morning disaster.  I scurried about with broom and dustpan, pausing only to extract the small glass shard from the bottom of my foot, praying my son, now relegated to his playpen, would stop screaming; a screaming child is not what my landlady prefers to listen to at 6:30am.

Even after I finished running damp paper towels across the floor to catch any glass that may have escaped my attention or that of the broom, I was dissatisfied, and unconvinced I had removed every fragment from the semi smooth old linoleum tile. I felt inept at cleaning; inept at providing a safe surface on which my children could walk and play without the fear of glass piercing their delicate skin; inept.

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Fall

Autumn slammed into me today with forceful determination disrupting my restless inertia.  I could smell the familiar slightly sweet, fragrant aroma of slowly decaying leaves and crisp air.  Somehow, fall’s preparation for winter’s slumber awakens my senses, stirs my thoughts, and sharpens my awareness. Perhaps this is part of an instinctual human pattern of survival behavior; we are sharpened in preparation for the interminable, taxing days of winter.

I feel fall’s dull, damp and gray pressure upon my shoulders rather than crushing, railing me to push back, break through, and understand.  Autumn’s inspirations are unique in their forceful determinacy.  I desire to tune out life yet my senses betray me, direct me toward understanding my surroundings with lucid awareness and intuition.  Peering through the biting mist my gaze is drawn to the few surrounding treetops in my area.  I think about how late autumn is often a good time to plant deciduous trees while they lay dormant, deathlike facades outstretched, cultivating blindly what erupts during spring’s commanded resurgence.

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