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,
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
and dark eyes, terrified your speed
will toss it onto the moving parts
of a machine made only to go.
Maybe, after you get it fixed,
clear up a few other things,
finally, then, you’ll have time.
Laura Grace Weldon