I took the night shift so’s I could see the kids off to school. I shower at the hospital even though home is just a few blocks away. Wake up the kids, Jeremy still lets me do it with a hug and a kiss, Anthony is in the “Aw, Ma,” stage, wants to hear about gunshot wounds, stabbings, freeway crashes; not babies being born with complications, not heart shunts, not tumors---or worse. Pack the kids’ lunches, cook oatmeal, cut up bananas on top, pour milk, juice, “Gotta big day ahead,” I say. “You got your books? Homework? Come straight home; I love you,” I shout after them as they saunter to the bus stop giggling and tussling, climb into that golden yellow bus, wave me a goofy goodbye. That’s when I sit in my chair, reckon with the silence, try to rock away the night shift, rock away what happens. Every day. To ordinary people. Just like us.
Diana Rosen's poetry has appeared in the anthologies Kiss Me Goodnight, Those Who Can....Teach, and Bold Ink plus the journals Lucidity, convolvulus and RATTLE, among others.