Grace in the Side Yard

grace in the side yard

The hose water slapped the lawn quietly, and there were her bare feet getting dripped on, and her bare legs and her shorts and t-shirt;  she was all there, big, feeling mess that she was, watering the flowers along the side of the house.  It was buzzingly green outside– even the bugs seemed expectant.

She felt heavy with the midmorning humidity and the guilt about all the time she had wasted, floundering around since college, working at side jobs she wasn’t suited for and finding no ambition or direction in the world.  For over two years now?  And from the looks of it, she was going to continue to fritter more time away, helplessly, because there was no easy path, no clear or simple answer.  She couldn’t even formulate any clear or simple questions.  She was just one numb outer layer, and raw everywhere else.

With her hand loosely on the hose, she kept directing the hollow sounding rush of water, from the house, to the dirt, and she caught a glimpse of her legs in the reflection in the basement window.  Regular, solid human legs.   She felt her feet pressing into the soft ground and her legs growing upwards from them like leg-shaped tree trunks.  Holding her up.  And suddenly, she sensed that her squandering of her gifts was forgiven.  She had lost her way, or had never known her way, or what was a way?  Her connections with people were still painful and untapped.  She was about to apologetically but stubbornly while away the minutes and hours and possibilities of this summer Saturday in what was supposedly the prime of her life by going inside her dark little bedroom and eating cookies till the cows came home.

But she was not going to burst out of her skin.




Not Belonging

I don’t care what you think

but how do you like me now?

Like this?  I’m wanting a lot of sex

and I’m wanting it with many people

but I don’t do that,

and I don’t lie, but that’s not totally true.

I don’t want to be beholden.

I mean, who does?

But somebody tell me, how do you avoid it?

My friends are constantly offering me food and gifts,

coming by my house to say hi, and bringing me hand-me-downs

for our daughters, and my husband keeps going to work and taking

care of shit, and telling me I’m looking fine when I doubt it, and I don’t

know how to take in all this goodness and grace.