“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed, you won’t be discouraged; if anyone calls you a saint, you won’t put yourself on a pedestal.” ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
My ears adjust, repressurize
in response to the forty-fifth high-pitched scream of the day
as I scrape uneaten bits of lettuce and broccoli from the dinner plates.
“This is holy work,” I tell myself,
my face close to the trash can, the odor
of old banana peels and used diapers mixing and wafting upward.
My husband stops home for a quick dinner
and I tell him how I’ve not yet lost my mind;
then he heads back to the office and I lose my mind.
The little ones pick and poke and pester each other,
and I add my screeches to their screeching and everything stops –
“I’m sorry,” I tell them, stooping down. “I could have said that nicely.”
Almost before I ask, they forgive me and we are hugging;
they are giving me all of their love, so I am giving them all of mine –
this is holy work.