Because I can answer the questions, I do
Because I can solve the problems, I do
Because I can see my new ex-girlfriend’s mother wilting,
Her shoulders stooped as she begins a diabetic dive,
While her daughter packs boxes, asking which soup
Ladle she can take. “Take them all” I say as I
Prepare her mother a cheese plate with neatly sliced
Cheese and fanned out crackers. I do that too.
Her mother looks from the party plate to my eyes
Sweat on her upper lip from stress and low blood sugar
“You always do too much” she says as she marries a
Slice of cheddar to a Triscuit and takes a bite of relief.
Because I can calm their anxiety, I do
Because I can get it done faster, I do
Because I can hear his tension simmering through the phone
When his proceeds haven’t arrived from the sale that closed
Two days ago, I sit in the theater’s 5th row center seat, clutching
My phone and coordinating a solution. Before the curtain goes up
I text the lawyer and the manager with instructions and suggestions,
Constructing a plan before the lights go dim. I do that too.
Because I know all this, every summer morning I breathe
Crushed lavender buds held to my nose in my cupped hands.
Because I know all this, as often as I can (yes, often),
I escape the phone calls and demands for an hour or two,
While I stroll through gardens of tulips and poppies with
My camera in hand, inhaling beauty and streaming sunshine,
And exhaling worry wrapped in brown paper packages tied
Tight with twine, happily littering the garden’s perfect grounds.
Burdens I had accepted are scattered among the tulip petals.
Next to my penknife the magnifying
Glass, whose handle stuck out of the
Back pocket of my Wranglers, was
My favorite provision for exploring
The woods behind our stone house
Neighborhood where I was a child.
I had ogled the knife for months with
Its grooved black wood handle, two
Blades, a nail file and a screwdriver in
The glass case with the lessor knives at
Monterey Hardware, until I finally saved
The eight dollars and fifty-fifty cents.
The knife cut the coiled rope, clipped to
My belt loop, I used to scale the dirt hill
Like a cowboy would, hand-over-hand,
When I was the freckly redheaded girl
Who arrived home tired and late in
Filthy blue jeans with ripped out knees.