The woman in the bedroom writes a story.
She has lost track of motive, plot, or tone
but keeps her pencil moving on the paper
to keep the woman in the story moving,
making breakfast in a whitewashed room.
She whisks the eggs in a stainless steel bowl
and squeezes oranges into juice.
A broom in the corner waits to be used.
The woman whistles an outdated tune.
As long as she keeps putting word on word
the kids will think that she is still asleep
and go on playing house in the back yard.
Stuart makes a snowman out of sand.
Annie cries, and Ben laughs loud and hard.
The story-woman has made this same breakfast,
sometimes with more detail, sometimes with less,
a hundred thousand times, it seems. She’s bored.
But what should she do next? Sweep the floor?
Repaint the room with white? There’s not much
one can do with just these bowls, the broom,
the whisk, the eggs and oranges, a room.
The pencil stops. The woman starts to dress.
The children hear her, start to ask and ask.