Always carry a towel



There are days
when I cannot remember
the lessons from that manual
we all got before we grew up.

You know the one,
Pocket-sized, yellowed with age,
with a warning page
saying “you must never forget…”

Like a Grimm Alzheimer’s patient,
I spend days convinced that my shoes
are just wearing shoelaces;
not snakes hissing to lead me
on an adventure to unknown places
with unknown consequences,
complete with a cast of colorful characters
with unknown back stories.

Days when I think clouds are merely cloud shaped,
because James got in way over his peach pit
playing make believe with water vapor.

I’m embarrassed to say there are weeks
when I forget to leave breadcrumbs
and need a three year old to remind me
not to get lost in the big city.

When I can’t tell how big
teeth are really supposed to be,

When I throw a fish back into the water
without asking for three wishes,

When I don’t quite know the difference between 9
and 9 and 3/4.

But then,
on rare occasions,
when I wake up feeling luckily immature,
I’ll twist just the right way widdershins
and end up inside-out and backwards.

But I’ll look exactly the same.

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