DER KLEINE KATECHISMUS by Constance Hansen
I watered the plants. I plucked their dead leaves. I fed the children and dog. I asked the coffee to raise spirits. I made no beds. I made an inadequate donation to a parentless child, survivor of the car wreck that killed my friends. I paid with my thumbprint. I sent another friend money who sent another friend flowers to celebrate a new baby. I pressed C to confirm my vaccination appointment. I wrote STOP to free myself of Black Friday promotions. I paired small socks. I pulled fine hairs off hairbands. I took all the care that’s never seen. I remembered what I know about a mother’s worth, best estimated in her absence. I drank again the draught of orphan’s wisdom. I shook out my raincoat and collected bay leaves from one neighbor, tulip bulbs from another. They bobbed in my tote as I kept walking and walking the dog in a downpour. I caught a familiar chill. From the bath, I texted with childhood friends. I texted my brothers the news and we all sent up prayers. I called Seattle City Light to report a downed line. I called the pediatric nurse and said I was someone’s mom. I called God a prick and asked why do I quarrel with a void, a vacancy and a vacuum? Because they are the holy trinity and my catechism was the small one, impossible to be rid of, like glitter.