Small Conceits

Musings. Stories. Poems.

Present Tensed

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A sweet, gentle rivulet of chiming

wakes me, my morning alarm.

The light is already late.

It creeps into the room,

hoping I won’t notice

the hour.


The warmth of the dog

seeps through my thin duvet,

contrasting the cold of the fan-driven air.

I turn and curl around him.

He stretches out along the length

of my body in dreamy response,

his velvety auburn head squirming its way

up onto my pillow

which always makes me chuckle,

in spite of my itchy eyes,

because he’s so sweet in his sleep.


A falling pig hickory shatters the quiet

like a gunshot on my roof.

Neither the dog nor I even flinch.

Years of autumns here

have made the sound familiar to us.

He yawns, rolls partway onto his back

and lazily waves a paw so I’ll

reach around and scratch his belly.


For so long

I was lost.

I was distracted by the false promise

of a life meted out in milliseconds

and measured in achievements.

I’ve bought into Work Ethic

and Productivity

and The Bottom Line.

I’ve aimed for The Future,

worshipped at the altar

of What’s Next.


And I sold it all.

I let it go for the peace of these mornings:

the sweet smell of warm fur,

the flimsy light of dawn gathering itself for breakfast,

the rude drumming of hickory nuts,

the insistent tinkling of my alarm,


the slow building of awakening

in the here,

the now.

Author: Denise

I'm Denise. I'm a dog lover, a nature fanatic, a hiker, and a future yurt-dweller. I believe that stories lurk in all the tiny moments that make up our everyday lives. They wait, curled into themselves, until someone finds them and jailbreaks them, leading them out into the light. I have a flashlight. Follow me!

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