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The Reward

by Sarah Brindell

In this vast undertaking
of dirty laundry and stop lights
of shoveling gray snow and
minding turn signals
of clocks and elevators and planes overhead
when the night finally sprawls
its dark, omniscient cover
and I finish the last dirty dish
set the alarm and crawl
into my own covers
should I be proud of my stealth ability
to handle the steering wheel
in that moment of possible
impending destruction
when I escaped the monster car
that almost made a left into mine earlier today?
What about the time I handed in
the necessary paperwork
at work, even before 3pm?
Or how I gallantly remembered
to buy detergent AND toothpaste at the drug store?
Or the amazing pasta sauce
I created for dinner?
Isn’t that a celebration? An achievement
of great merit? A triumph that deserves
some honorable recognition?

These questions continue to prod at me
until the snow begins tapping
a soft percussive lullaby on the window
and the heavy down of the blanket
circles its gentle arms
smoothing the wrinkle in my brow,
releasing the thick bind of my shoulders,
unshackling my clenched fists
until the bedroom begins to transform,
gracefully bending its walls into a raft
that drifts on an uncharted sea
of languid slumber
and I realize that this instant
this tender letting go of worry
this initiation into blissful dreaming
is my reward

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MARCH 1st, 2010

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