To the grumpy lady in the school carline

I don’t know what small thing 
disturbed your morning:
the stocking foot that stepped 
into the cat’s water dish 
or the splash of coffee that tipped 
onto your favorite sweater. 

I don’t know what large thing 
haunted your dreams:
the looming results of 
yesterday’s mammogram 
or the smell of whiskey 
in your husband’s ragged snores.

I don’t know the direction your life 
should have taken 
or the source of the weight 
you bear on your back.

I don’t know what heartbreak 
settled like a stone in your soul 
or what pain rockets 
through your joints at night. 

I don’t know what wounds 
splay open in your breast 
or whose loss carved out 
a cave in your happiness. 

But I do know that the entire world
is loaded down with people hauling 
far too much of yesterday’s agony.

I do know that together we could 
fill a canyon if we tossed in all of
our regret and fear and pain.

I do know that my heart has felt
just as heavy once upon a time
and that every day I lob
a “Good morning!” 
towards the core of you
like a flare from the other side
of darkness.

©Vixen Lea 2021

Originally published January 29, 2021 on Being Known, a small but tightly publication of

4 thoughts on “To the grumpy lady in the school carline

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