Thursday, February 17, 2022


Then life Intervened


I was contemplating the way the sunshine gleamed

on the polished chrome of the kitchen faucet –

creating a star of cosmic proportions for a small sink –

when the telephone’s strident voice

broke the silence.

My book, the story forgotten on my lap while I

thought of stars and moons and planets

loose in my kitchen, fell to the floor and closed

its covers so the occupants could not escape.

Donning hat and coat, boots and gloves against the cold,

I ventured out to collect the “ready for pickup now” prescription 

of pills designed to keep the pain of old-age rheumatism at bay,

at least for a while, and returned home with a quart of milk

and a box of Bandaids, the former to add to my tea,

the latter to pamper the small cuts life provides daily.


Ensconced in my chair once more, a quilt draped across my lap

to still the shivers, my book once again in my hands,

a mug of milky tea at my elbow, I searched for the page

I’d been reading before the advent of the star. 

Three lines later, I glanced out the window to see a crow, 

followed by three more, slice the blue with its black wings.

Four crows now flew in my head, their raucous voices echoing – 

did they call directions to one another? Gossip? 

Shout for the pure joy of hearing their own voices in the void?

I noticed the faucet star had turned to a rainbow that danced on the floor 

at my feet. And as I watched, it slowly crept toward the quilt on my knees, 

climbed my leg, and spread itself across the pages of my book. 


Rainbow words, redorangeyellowgreenblueindigoviolet, shimmered.

I tilted the book, splashing the colors on the floor once more where they

lay quietly, singing themselves out of existence as the sun inched westward.

I got lost in the story, conversed and ate and slept, worked and wept with the

people who lived forever between cardboard covers. When it grew too dark

to see the words, I set the fictional world aside and made my way to the 

kitchen, remembering it agleam with reflected starlight, itself a fiction. Which world

did I inhabit, I wondered – the fictional one I’d just left or the one I made up

for myself? 


As I prepared supper, life intervened. I fetched a Bandaid for the cut.