“it’s my destiny” I used to joke

To forever pick up after boys/men

Who leave everything where ever it falls,

whether it was a pair of socks or shorts

Or a wet bath towel,

Or a screw driver,

Or the sodden Kleenex tissues

Wadded up and dropped,

Because, of course, he has a cold,

And can’t reach the waste paper basket

Alongside his bed, inches from his nose in

close proximity to spoons, bowls, and glasses

left on the floor while he lays in bed and

complains. I pick up the magazines, the discarded

newspaper (once the crossword puzzles has been

worked), the mail, his prescriptions from the pharmacy.

I pick up everything he has left behind.  “He” takes

on many different faces–first, the ex, before he

became the ex, then the four sons, followed by three

grandsons, then the significant other who was not

much different from the ex, when it came to

everything that is dropped, strewn, scattered, spread,

rejected, discarded, misplaced, left behind, forgotten,

lost, from Infancy to Manhood, from pacifier to

chewing gum wrapper to cigarette butt.  “He” perfects

the art; my back is perpetually bent from picking up.

I did not know this was my destiny when I started out.

It’s not a joking matter anymore.


Sandra Lee Smith/January 2009



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