Finally, Then

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BY LAURA GRACE WELDON

After dinner is over, dishes clean,
their porcelain lips stacked in smiles
behind the cupboard door.

After your desk is organized,
emails sent, final draft finished,
your to-do list a flock of check marks
like migratory birds flapping
down the column and out
to the horizon of a light-suffused land
called Everything is Done.

Finally, you can do whatever it is
you say you’ve always wanted to do.
Or not said, because naming can sometimes
dilute a dream’s dark essence.

But there’s bank overdraft to fix,
unread library books to return,
another doctor’s appointment,
and these days when you accelerate,
your car makes a screaming noise
like a small trapped animal.
You can picture its curled body,
dark eyes, terrified your speed
will toss it onto the moving parts
of a machine made only to go go go.
Maybe, after you get it fixed,
clear up a few other things,
finally, then, you’ll have time.

 

 

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of a poetry collection titled Tending and a handbook of alternative education, Free Range Learning, with a book of essays is due out soon. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she’d get more done if she didn’t spend so much time reading library books, cooking weird things, and singing to livestock. Her background includes teaching classes in memoir and poetry, leading nonviolence workshops, writing poetry with nursing home residents, facilitating support groups for abuse survivors, and writing sardonic greeting cards. Connect with her at lauragraceweldon.com