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100 Days of Gladness

NaPoWriMo: "Joy from the Shadows"

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Because this is National Poetry Writing Month, I am freeing my ego to go play elsewhere, while I explore the challenge (with a playful heart) of writing a poem every single day for a month. Here is the entry for April 2, 2024.

Joy watches me from the shadows.

She’s not shy. She just isn’t pushy.

She doesn’t waste herself that way.

She waits in the shadows of the gray,

almost, pre-dawn morning.

Will I get it this time?

Will I notice her?

I wake up, reach over and tap my phone —

what time is it? It’s time to get up.

I don’t want to.

She waits.Will I do what I always do? Hoist myself up and out

of bed, ache and toddle to the bathroom, cranky as I pee,

aware only of the rolling ball of mercury, a headache

flexing for attention?

Or, before getting up, will I spend a minute — maybe two — aware of my weight and warmth under the covers.

Will I steep in the stillness, letting my full volume

sink into the support system under my body.

I have loved this bed for 21 years, but only

for relief at the end of a day. Can I love it

for joy at the beginning?

Will I take a moment to feel the ridiculous, dumb luck

of waking up in a place where no bombs are falling

all around me all the time, where I’m fed and warm,

all four limbs in tact, my earlobes and eyelids perfectly in place!

where my children live their lives without wondering whether

they’ll starve, or be tortured, or be dead tomorrow —

She sees me.

She’s been waiting for me in the shadows,

and she sees me. She merges now

with the morning

and me

and I feel her.

I feel the happy of her.

Just for a moment, I look out the window

and gasp with wonder at the camellia bush which,

this year, for our last spring in this house,

has offered up an embarrassment of blooms,

each licking the air with its petals,

whispering Yay! in flowerspeak,

each humming with the life

that I get to feel right now,

under these covers,

in this room.

Joy is always watching

from the shadows.


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