On days when the kids are bored,
they drag themselves to me
on feeble legs, staggering
under the load of their need
for something to make them
feel alive.

So I kick them outside—
not for the exhilarating effect of nature
(though there is that), but because
the effect of being followed
by a small, whining person
is enough to unhinge
my tired mind.

I close the door with relief
as they run off to the sunlit grass,
and then I take my mind by the hand,
and limp with it to the nearest

I, too, am starving to feel alive,
and so to take the edge off this hunger
I guzzle a stream of 140-character
blips and blurbs, and then move on
to the meat of e-mail
and blog posts.

Afterward, though,
part of me is still not satisfied,
so I try to re-enter real life
by tidying up the house,
my eyes scanning the pieces of my world
to find what is lovely and worthy
of gratitude.

Sure enough—
late afternoon sun is filling
the window over the kitchen sink
with a golden warmth that hallows
those dry garlic bulbs sending out
withered sprouts on the sill.

My first impulse
is to post a picture
of this redemptive beauty,
for all the world to behold and enjoy—

but I’m rescued
by the racket of the kids
bursting in the door
to announce the unexpected arrival
of our neighbor and her daughter,
who have walked over—
on their feet—
to spend time with us
this sunny day.

© 2012 Sarah Dunning Park