The Ladder

Back from three hours of stacking and sorting
No truck today
An amiable assortment of puzzles
Presents itself.  Opening the box
To discover a series of prestressed platitudes
Made to look old but sheathed
In delicate bubble wrap to protect
The uselessness they offer

Arranged now on ventilated, three-tier carts
They remind the heart of what
We hold onto when we might be
Better off letting go
Then a stint stuffing pre-folded towels
Into available acrylic cubicles
“Reminds me of doing the laundry!”
I say to Keori, a good-natured
Japanese American woman ten years
My junior

The last stop on this odyssey
Also involves stuffing
Only now it’s foam pillows
Kings, Queens, Twins – All sizes & shapes
My mentor on the leg of the journey
Is an amiable Latina, maybe 22 or 23
With long dark tresses braided
Into a pony tail.  She directs
Me to a ladder, which I climb
Willingly.  After a step or two
I stop and begin receiving
The poly-bagged pillows
We have been assigned to assort

I am on the third step of this aluminum ladder
Much like the one Ryan will use later in the day
To access the ketchup he has inadvertently catapulted
Onto the dining room ceiling
Now this adventure occurs, of course, at home

I had driven to The Habit for take out
And in the process grabbed a few extra pouches
Of ketchup, knowing that we were out of that delectable staple
At home.  Ryan knew that too.  And, in time, he’ll learn how
To open those pouches without having to retrieve
The ladder from the garage

I, meanwhile, am learning how to take one step at a time
Regardless of where I happen to be



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