Before I Write by Marna

Before I write
I scrub my teeth
Open the door for meowing cat
Next wash the dishes in jet and spray
The dog let out, the dog let in
Black tea steeped, not Earl Gray.

Before I write
Dates must be noted
Weather appraised
Email checked, deleted, most
Texts sent off, devices charged
Sometimes I eat a little toast.

What else, what else
Before I write?
My neck stretched out
My urges squelched (to call a friend)
My dry lips licked, my shoulders back
The tea is not quite hot, so then

Water boils
The kettle whistles
My cuppa tea reheats just so
Then back to task, what was the task?
Oh yes, to write
I shouldn’t shouldn’t have to ask.

Before I write
My body aches
Thoughts somersault
Garden weeds call out my name.
Upstairs in bed my husband snores
He knows not of this waiting game.

But when I write
And write, and write
When my fingers start to sled
They speed as through fresh downy snow
I hear the wind, my brow’s refreshed
I dare not stop, so far to go.

But stop I do
The sun is high
Slush and ice
Slow my fingers to a paltry pace
For tomorrow’ list (before I write)
Anticipate moments of creative grace.

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