It might be that something as simple
as raking leaves
might be the very thing
that brings about some hint of change,
some notion that finally stops
the downward motion
of the last few weeks—or months—
that seeping sense of denser gravity
that drains away all but duty.
Desire lost its fire somewhere between
dream and drudgery.
It might have started with nothing more
than a parking space at Wal-Mart
that looked empty
until you got right there ready to pull in
and only then could see
the nearly new car parked across four spaces.
And then someone at Medicare
decides that you have to pay
three months retroactive
and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas—
after collecting your COBRA payments
for six months—informs you that they
are cancelling your insurance—also retroactive—
and you’ll have to pay back
everything they’ve paid for the last three months.
And somewhere in that helpless anger
you know that the only way
to escape the danger is to focus
on what you can change
that won’t land you in prison.
And so you find yourself
raking up the leaves
that have matted the grass
for the past five months,
and realize that it actually is a lovely day
and you like the way the lawn looks now:
a fresh bit of green and the texture of fresh earth.
In might not be a new birth
but there is certainly something
welcome and refreshing
in having done a thing that needed doing
and you will lie down tonight,
warm and grateful
that you were able to rake leaves today
and not lie rotting underneath them.