There's the first life you live -
the one where you help
your little boy clean himself
after with limited success
he's used his big-boy potty seat
and then you wipe up the
cat puke in the foyer
you swiffered the night before
It's the life where
piles of laundry rule your space
but you've grown to ignore
them as a strong-hold defense
Make the beds, wash the dishes,
vacuum the floors, you're too
busy to make lists and by evening
you're waiting for your husband
so you can start dinner.
And when, finally, he arrives he's late
and smells of his lunch he ate
peacefully in a nice restaurant
with his colleagues -
all of whom are over the age of four.
He comes in through the front door,
unscrews the top of his head, places his brain
on the table in the hall and asks,
"How was your day?"
Your second life
is the one where you imagine yourself
among your artists acquaintances
on a sunny Thursday afternoon
in a University town,
the streets have been blocked off,
you're in a white tented-booth
with your name on the outside,
listed above the town you're from,
your artist booth number.
You sip vendor lemonade as
your shoulders pink over the day
and you talk with attractive,
culturally-sensitive people who
upon approaching your work
ask you many interesting questions -
none of which have to do with laundry,
the best swiffer or pet vomit.
You love your children.
You love your husband.
But at least once a day, every day,
the possibility of your second life
will see you through
the reality of your first.
- Darren King