Winner: Honorable Mention in the 2020 Carolina Woman Magazine Writing Contest
After one kid brushes her teeth,
tucks in by 9:10 p.m.,
I rush to clean four dishes
before my tax accountant husband returns
to our unmopped kitchen at 11:07 on April 13
while the guinea pig contemplates tough decisions:
Should I eat hay, pellets or carrots?
I work best without sound,
the TV remote grows in kind dust
on the sticky coffee table,
surrounded by long hairs—either mine or my daughter’s.
My feet stick to cereal bits and popcorn nubs and cracker crumbs—
teenage son strikes again,
the other guinea pig.
I like falling asleep on the couch,
I like having the bed to myself,
I cry at night so no one can see
me counting down to April 15.