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Tonight I am the anti-Mary Poppins.  Today I was closer to my idea of myself, doing domestic things cheerily and involving the girls in character-building experiences, like folding laundry, but tonight my shell felt brittle and where the tiny tyrants saw cracks, they pushed.  Engaged in a battle royale with a two year-old, over the eating of stew, I suddenly realized that I had not had a single thought about writing or language or the world in general at all, all day long.  It took me until just now to realize that the cracked-up feeling, the smallness of today’s moments, and the lack of poetry were connected. That these preludes and fugues of imagination are my way of breathing.  An hour and  a half after bedtime began, the house is still and here I sit, exhaling the day.

A Way of Breathing

I want to be your bathtub, and the warmth that floats you.

I want be your broom that whisks off the scolds and lessons of the day,

but

the smoke in the chapel of my ideal is far in the distance.

I want to be your teacher

but the lessons that should move us with ease through the day are darkened by

a familiar impatience.

The vices are calling,

“Come join us on our holiday. You haven’t seen the sun in so long”.

Every craved indulgence is a drop in a dry canyon,

 the rivulet becomes a river because of all the times before.

 I’ll not go scampering to my sorrow, not this time.

This time, drop the coal instead of clutching the anger to my breast

The night calls for cold air, and a new way of breathing,

one that follows the rhythms and echoes of your voices.

we’ll gather hands, breathing back the night

and out of the darkness walk.

 

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