by Mary Eileen Ball
I stir the dust beneath my chair As I lumber by to remove a crowd of dirty dishes from the end table. I see the spill that bloomed on the floor—chocolate milk, was it? And the grimy shoeprint nearly dry. Unpaid bills gather slapdash near the kitchen phone. Did I say kitchen? A mess of bread crumbs on a coffee-stained counter mocks me: You must try harder. But the inward mess is much worse than the outer. Jealousies, unforgiveness, grief, rage, A nest of snakes coiled upon each other, Poisoning my thoughts. Alone, I can't untangle them. I lift one wearied hand toward heaven, Tapping into a power not my own, And breathe in deeply.
Mary Eileen Ball lives with her husband and young son in the Deep South.