Pagosa Springs Artists

The Daily Start of My Ordinary Life


Sunlight pouring over the bed rouses me. I pull
on a robe and wake each sleepyhead except one
who is already dressing herself. Call out some
instructions on the selection of outfits, reminders
to comb hair and wash face, lift up Baby eagerly
bouncing in his crib and settle into the task of

diapering him, kissing his rosy sweet-scented
cheeks. I tug on his clothes, tie the little shoes
I've screwed onto his wiggly feet, check on
the next youngest, start his buttons, smooth
back his hair with an affectionate grin, head down

the glowing stairwell lit by a rainbow of color from
a stained glass window over the landing. Carry
Baby to his highchair, start the coffeepot, set out
a stack of cereal bowls, pile of spoons, two handfuls
of glasses secured by pressing all my fingertips at
once into the rims of the eight drinking cups.

Golden, burnished, and black curly heads bend over
their breakfasts, chattering amid the clinking of spoons
and glasses. The rich aroma of coffee fills our kitchen,
calling my husband to come claim his cup. He mumbles
a brief greeting to the energetic throng on his way out
to his den as I help each schoolchild gather homework,
brush hair into ponytails, find a lost shoe or elusive jacket.

The first one ready takes up her window post, watching
for the school bus. At her word, the two boys playing
with toy cars at her feet give a yell to the others and all
thunder to the front door, calling out goodbyes as they
race to the head of our driveway. The baby has taken

it all in with saucer-round eyes, still soberly stuffing
cheerios into his wet mouth. My husband shuffles
up the stairs to dress for the office, refilling his cup
and hugging me absentmindedly en route, leaving
me to clean up the dishes in the sudden vacuum.



first published in The Rockford Review

also published in GLORY IN THE ORDINARY Chapbook

©2012 Bonnie Manion


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