Treading Water


are all I have these days

Interrupted thoughts 

Morning-shower epiphanies

tossed into 

the busy scheme of another day 

tumbled around in the whirl 

of minutes and hours

I hear John Mayer singing: “Gravity.. 

is working against me”

while I make another round of espresso

for someone’s morning fix

This is threading the needle

to make a few more stitches come together 

Emotions and questions shake off 

for now

I know how to work

Even if I don’t have a reply for the agony

of the world

It’s been months of broken themes



And still feels like riding a stationary bike

Pedaling to nowhere,

taxiing to the runway

But never taking off

Treading water

as I kick and kick

I held this year in my fist 

along with a helping of optimism 

But I mechanically watch 

them slip through my fingers

I keep treading water, I keep kicking

Doing what I know

and hope it’s enough

Hope that God multiplies it

The God of abundant

And the God of cups running over

I pay attention to eyes

windows to the soul 

I pay attention to my childrens' moods

what sets them on edge

I read between the lines of their spats

I cling to my husband’s arm

and smell his worn-out T-shirt 

Breathing his scent in 

with all the oxygen that will fill my lungs

I fill the dishwasher 

Then unload it again

Reach back for the hymns

That anchor me to the soil

I match the socks, 

Clean the toilet, 

Relinquish control

I stop arguing

I keep kicking

Put my feet on the floor

And stop over-thinking 

Stop second-guessing

Stop looking for monsters under the bed

Stop choosing cynicism 

I write the letter

I call my mom

I sing in the car

I extend the invitation

And I stop waiting for it to be over





I keep kicking and breathing 

And somewhere

Somewhere there are mountains crashing into the sea


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