Last night when I lay
sleepless, thinking,
I turned my problems
from back to front,
then front to back,
trying through worry
to wear them down
to nothing.If anything,
I only made them
loom larger, by slipping
one next to another,
matching craggy edges
until I had fashioned
an insurmountable

Today I find
they are neither
worn to dust nor
mortared together;
one by one, they crop out
through the morning.
And as I meet them,
I huff and sigh and whine.

Yet I recall the first
evening of summer camp
when I was fourteen—
we leapt over fallen trees,
grabbed for rough rope ladders,
splashed through mud pits
in the dark.

We laughed raucously
in the face of each hurdle,
and we emerged
from our challenge
soaked but exhilarated,
with skinned knees
and new best friends.

So tomorrow I vow
to try this: the child who
shakes me awake
is the day’s starting
pistol, and I will leap up
with vigor, unfazed
by my handicap
of inadequate sleep.

Later I will brave
the oven of our minivan
to maneuver squirming children
into buckles and boosters—
without once losing my cool.

And that evening I will dance
around mounds of laundry,
as I head to my desk
to confront with boldness
the dark recesses
of our perpetually

© Sarah Dunning Park, 2012. All rights reserved. Used with permission.