Identities

She wakes in the dark
and goes downstairs
to put on the kettle for coffee.

She fills small sections
of her daughter’s bento box
with goldfish, strawberries, and salami
while the water boils.

She puts away dishes,
sorts pilings on the table,
while the coffee steeps.

She writes snippets of stories
between sips of coffee,
letting the animals in
and back out again.

By the next hour,
she  dresses and winds
along the back roads to the office.

Each part of herself,
lines up
like the arms of the keys
on an old Underwood.
Always ready
to type any letter,
at any moment,
with just the right punch.

Woman, mother, wife, daughter,
writer, friend, colleague, manager,
poet, graduate, crafter, naturalist…

Even if you know how to type,
some of the keys will stick,
some of the keys may hesitate,
leaving a faded letter
in the middle of a word.
It’s inevitable.
Some of the keys
may not function
as they did once.
Some of the keys
may not know their cue
or have grown tired
of responding.

She fills a whole page
of letter after letter,
bringing words together.
Some days, she barely manages a few lines.

But each day,
all these parts of herself line up,
without a clue
who may finally
take the stage.

~ Megan M. Codera

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