Five p.m.

What effort, to transform the circadian lull of mid-afternoon
into cascading moments of sweetness, delight
for the soul and the senses.
A gift I cannot give myself, but only receive.

This oft dreaded witching hour,
when empty bellies and foggy minds clamor for attention;
when lunch is long past and dinner is a work in process and
nothing is what anyone wants, but everyone needs right now.
Patience is slim, frailties loom large and
threaten to expose me, a fool grasping and clutching at control.

Receiving this hour as gift requires as little as letting go,
only that I relinquish being right, being perfect, having it all, and all in place.
The gift is what is:
space, thick with children’s love and art
time, to savor creamy peanut butter and thinly sliced apples
daughter, eyes bright with curiosity
son, face full of kisses
you, in all of it.

Note: This poem is part of my Lenten discipline, in which I attempt to cultivate space and quiet in order to hear from God and respond with poetry.

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