Age 37

by Lisa López Smith

I can’t say I’m discontent, mostly
things fall into their places,
as they must, a sandcastle crumbling—
most things I can accept for a time.
Until I don’t. There’s something
of delight how maple leaves crunkle underfoot.
I’m not unexpected; I once dreamed
of being a shepherd,
so be careful what you wish for.
I once thought I’d give up a career track,
probably at the Embassy, to pick grapes in Spain,
except in fact it was apples in the Similkimeen.
I thought another degree would get me somewhere better,
but I guess I’m just thankful I landed where I did:
on my feet, stumbling,
on my knees. 
I didn’t think motherhood would suit me, 
but it turns out my shape 
can metamorphosize into all sorts of discomfort
and I’ll like it. The truth is
is that I care about everything,
but am learning how to let go,
my sticky fingers being peeled off the popsicle stick of control.
The world is too heavy most days.
But then there is a symphony
on the radio that causes me to crumble,
or the dandelions my children picked
for me, and the ecstatic bawl
of the ewes and lambs when they see me.
There’s injustice all around, but also,
also there is the sweet sting of the ocean’s salt,
and the stillness,
or the pines’ fragrance—
sharp and breathless and full of grace.

Lisa López Smith lives and writes from central Mexico. When not wrangling kids or rescue dogs or goats, you can probably find her riding her bike. Recent publications include Mothers Always Write, Coal Hill Review, CuiZine, Animal, and Lacuna Magazine.

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February 2019

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