clothespins fallen, three
sheets to the wind.
I head upstairs, past the clock
on the landing, my arms
full of sheets to fold, interlayered
with irritation and affection.
I have landed on the main
coast of adulthood:
chipped dishes, crumbs
on placemats, an empty
bandaid box, little oranges
fallen out of their mesh bag,
gone too dry to peel.
I wish for an island cabin, distant views,
slow tides. Water brings no escape:
dishes return to shelves, to use, to sink,
clothes pile up in the laundry basket.
I throw in the towel, after I wipe the tile.
My task: to keep this vessel shipshape
that never leaves its concrete pier.
The clock chimes the hours
as if something were adding up.
Ellen Roberts Young is a member of the writing community in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She has published two chapbooks with Finishing Line Press, Accidents (2004) and The Map of Longing (2009) and one full-length book, Made and Remade, (WordTech Editions, 2014), as well as in many journals. She is a co-editor of Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Journal and blogs intermittently at www.freethoughtandmetaphor.com.