10-Line Tuesday

December 18, 2018

sometimes, I am a woman counting bagels

For brief periods each week, you'll find me with a pale square of bakery paper,
peering through clear plastic doors behind which unkempt piles offer themselves
shamelessly in my direction. My mouth goes slack at the overflow, my hand reaching
numbly forward. I came sideways into motherhood, the way sleet arrives in December,
my face streaked with the marks of its sudden assault. Those first years, I bit down 
on the sounds of basement video games and tripped over the sneakers they left everywhere
and fell into bed with a feral exhaustion I did not recognize. Now, sometimes, I am
a woman counting bagels - two sesame, three plain, one everything. I twist a little red tie 
around the bundle and keep going. There are pending requests for body wash and
pulpless orange juice and rare roast beef. Patience is an art, like any mother.