Neither Here Nor There

rain-forced overtime
 and a club cancellation
 poured on my evening
 
 frazzled two incomes
 shuffle life like laundry loads:
 nothing’s ever clean
 
 quick pasta in pan
 (middle one waits for boil)
 i mad-dash the town
 
 make my appointment
 where my essay’s dissected
 by native speaker
 
 who can’t tell me why
 subjunctive is needed here
 yet, not here (nor there)
 
 disgruntled, i sit
 choose the last row, and listen–
 same two birds chirping
 
 pecking the rest out
 our Spanish words now swallowed
 by extroversion
 
 and i can’t do it
 i cannot sit in this class
 with my girls at home
 
 i can’t speak Spanish
 or use subjunctive bullshit
 —just say what it is
 
 it’s like our lunch talk:
 Midwest culture won’t allow
 taking last cookie
 
 and if you offer,
 offer three times before, ‘Yes’
 (no cookie for me)
 
 so i leave the class
 i walk out, i give up, lose
 (win time with my girls
 
 who ask for reading
 aloud, in poems stories,
 mine and theirs and ours)
 
 and we read Spain poems
 remember Gaudí’s madness
 in place of our own
 
 and that’s my Thursday
 just like any other: lost,
 but not forgotten

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