There is a ghost that claws
beneath my skin–
it grips at my lungs until I
forget to breathe,
and holds onto my heart ’til
there is no beat;
there is a ghost that crawls
through every inner room,
puts red tags on all of my things;
tells me I am failing,
as I try to triage every little thing.
But that laundry basket is green
it’s not going anywhere
and I can wear clothes out of a basket
for another week.
Last night’s dinner dishes
are yellow tagged:
they can wait until today’s dinner
Child’s plea to play:
red like love
like you can put the chores away,
red like you can soak in this moment and this day.
Red like your life depends on it
Yellow like the chimney needs to be cleaned
Green like the laundry basket
Tag it black:
if it is unmoving,
if it can wait another day,
if it never mattered anyway.
© Maxine L. Peseke, October 2020