It's a reverse sunrise this morning,
poking its nose around
the trees, blinding my eyes for a second,
then letting the gray mouth
of the clouds devour it. Some days
are like that, huge monsters
that eat us up, that suck all the life
out of us, then burp.
I'm trying to get Erin's arms into her
jacket but she's too sleepy
to help. Nathan is teasing her.
If we don't leave now
I'll be late for school. On the way
to the babysitter's I speed
through a puddle that splashes on the clean
suit of a man walking to his car.
I should stop, apologize, offer to pay
for his dry cleaning but, if
I do, my classroom will be filled with kids
and I won't be there. So I don't.
All day I feel terrible. I bark at students;
my voice has that edge
only regret can produce. I'm mad at myself
so I yell at them, instead.
And, that's how the beast thrives,
how he rubs his tummy
with satisfaction, chomping on the tears
of others, consuming their sunshine.