56-and-a-half hours

to remind you that you, who lives
amid such abundance, who has
so much of what others do not,

are just as reliant on the basics—
good food, clean water, electricity—
as everyone else, that your

privilege can, indeed, leave you
in the dark for 56-and-a-half hours,
that you have no control over

so much in life that you take
for granted. But O! the joy
when, at 8:20 a.m., the light

next to your bed switches
on, startled to life, as you are,
after thunder woke your part

of the world in the deep dark
of night, a tympanic overture
to morning’s amazement that

prompts you to leap out of bed
in the chill of your unheated
house to see if—yes!—

the heater is again diligently
chugging away, and you,
forgoing slippers, dance through

the wintry house in your jammies,
flicking switches, watching lights
come to life, chortling as they do so,

confusing the sleepy cats with
exclamations, with thank you’s
to those who brought back the light,

as you promise yourself never to
take the blessing of electricity,
of indoor heat and hot water

(as some of your students used to say)
for granite ever again.
Amen.

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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2 Responses to 56-and-a-half hours

  1. Gloria Beverage says:

    Brilliant in so many words!

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