Here I am at 7 a.m., holding the dog’s tattered blue leash,
hoping he will unload last night’s business in the same spot
before the neighbor’s goldens see the puppy out early
and begin their chorus of discordant barks.
I am holding the calendar for this year and next,
one full of commitments I am loathe to make for fear I am missing
my big chance at life outside the paved sidewalks of my home.
Here again, while my mother’s memory slowly erodes,
I am holding the memory of her canning tomatoes late summer
while she would curse my father for having planted so many.
Here, I am holding my breath for a 737 to depart,
first on Sunday for my son’s trip to Florida, and again on Friday,
during thunderstorms, while his plane attempts to land.
With my loving spouse,
we hold each other every morning
before the day is washed away in the tidal wave of work.
Even my purse is not averse to this task, taking on
recipes torn from waiting room magazines,
maps of Chicago, and the last swath of Tahini pink lipstick.
And while sometimes I tire from this, I go on holding,
as if by some miracle, the state of the world or health of my family
depends on the flavor of chewing gum at the bottom of my bag.