The Tenth Of September
M Teresa Clayton
Today I woke up and looked out the window,
I felt the pressure of the years on my bones,
The sun was shining and casting long shadows,
Where the seeds of my past had been sown.
It’s six a.m.; I could feel myself growing older;
Aches and pains and getting hard to remember,
And it just got worse as the days grew colder
Seemed early, it was only the tenth of September.
But, just as I was swinging my head low
I heard the phone ringing out in the hall.
She had no heat and it was 10 below zero
Just before now, I had no problems at all.
Damn the luck, and it was still morning.
It wasn’t how I wanted to start the day.
Bad things happen, at times without warning,
To good people, isn’t that what they say?
I got up to take a quick shower and shave
When I found myself taking another call.
He gambled away all the money he saved,
And killed himself taking a ninety foot fall.
I was balancing the checkbook around ten,
Another call answered, she was the mother of four.
It seems he started drinking and beating her again.
She died fighting; she just couldn’t take any more.
The news came on with a news flash up-date,
The little girl that was missing was found dead.
I thought I had problems that seemed too great,
What was I thinking; I must be out of my head.
Feeling down, I decided to go out for fresh air,
Nearly tripped over the beggar on the sidewalk.
I was still trying to figure out why life isn’t fair
When I saw them outline her body in chalk.
She had been struck as she was crossing the street.
She looked to be no more than twenty-five or thirty.
I noticed her shoes were knocked clean off her feet
As she lay exposed on the ground cold and dirty.
It was dinner-time and I had covered several stories,
Submitted them to press for the paper the next day.
In my line of work, you could lose yourself in worries,
I’ve had my fair share but there were bills yet to pay.
I went to bed early, muscles aching and tight.
Oh, what I would give to just not feel a thing.
I hope I can finally sleep through the night.
Only God knows what tomorrow might bring.
The call came at nine and I was just waking.
I wrestled with whether or not to answer the call.
I turned on the television as the story was breaking,
Up to then, it seems, I had no problems at all.