The matter at hand is always changing
from breakfast to lunch to dinner
from cash to time to patience
from the dog who stops, refusing to move
pushing the owner’s lips into a shape of a sigh
until there is nothing left to notice
but the white animal straining at the leash
with need to capture this specific scent.
We make lists to capture what is most important
then we turn away, hardly ready to begin number one.
What is so important that a moment can’t reverse?
All I hear is relevance; what is relevant to you?
The day gets away from me and the chores are undone
as I turn the syllables over and around in my head
rel-a-vance rel-a-vance: what is in front of you won’t last
not the shape of a body or the sound of a sigh
although it sounds familiar, watch, it’s not the same ever again
only a piece of it remains. Who still needs you and why?
If need defines you, what do you really want?
My children place themselves in front of me
so full of need and want that I spend time every day
sorting out need from want, knowing even the definitions hardly matter
as their bodies change shape I’m just lucky to be in the room
providing myself on bended knee, offering up the middle years
to their younger years, all of this rushing by until I stop
in front of the sign one of them made
that categorizes needs and wants
pushing me back to the idea of a pyramid of needs met.
I am privileged and white, hardly working and working all the time.
Is there relevance in the laundry
as surely as service is a form of love?
I ponder the idea of independence, of help being a hindrance
of what a dinosaur I will be career wise
when I no longer wash the school uniforms or cart my youngest
off to five tutoring sessions a week.
How relevant will my resume be then?
But still and yet, Rumi calls my name
and I’m off to kiss the ground of this life I have chosen
would chose again, even as I wonder at a parallel universe
hear someone calling me doctor, editor, preacher instead of mother, dabbling writer, wife.