The Reason for Routine

May 20, 1994|By Barbara M. Simon

Last night only a star

and a slip of moon

filled the sky, snug

to the roofs of staid suburbia.

My neighbors, my dog and I

stepped into evening,

the last notes of songbirds,

the grace chime of spring.

Faithful to routines,

the common rituals that mark

us middle class,

middle aged,

we waved, smiled, petted

the dogs,

took in the stars.

Secured by the ordinary,

we ignore fate,

the uncommonplace.

Across the city, mothers embrace

empty air where once were

children too soon slipped

from life, children edged

into age by decisions decided

by a knife or a needle.

No matter the pleasantries

of May, the banter played

out by azalea hedges

and trellised roses.

Our lives hang in the second

before the light fails or begins.

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