An Old Story

The humming in my head is so persistent
it gets me up in the middle of the night.

Night hunger, like Dagwood’s, drives me,
half blind, stumbling to the refrigerator,
where I scan the shelves like the Terminator
zeroing in on the perfect snack.

There it is, my Big Island jasmine honey and guava jelly.

Reaching into the refrigerator,
I grasp the bottle with a hand that’s more
slippery than I thought.  I fumble, and the arthritis
of second thought, the slow firing of synapses,
that comes free with a stiff body, creaky me, I
see I had to have warmed up before attempting this,
see the boy reaching out with the reflexes of a cat,
grabbing the bottle in midair,
know the old man standing lost in thought,
so slow, about how he once could have done that,
so quick a long time ago, but this old boy,
crippled by the clock’s tick down,
sore muscles, stiff tendons, brittle bones, creaky joints,
can’t do it.

Of course the bottle breaks on the tile floor,
and I watch the jelly ooze out around all the cracked glass,
kind of pretty, just observing, not reacting, not wondering
what’s the best way to clean up
this mess.

No, I think about just how hard it is
in the middle of the night, for an old guy
my back killing me,
to stoop and scoop this all up,
while the hunger
buzzes in my head
over what’s lost.

* * * * *

Today’s writing prompt is

what’s lost

Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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