When I crawl into bed,
Left foot aching, heel cracked,
I think about my first hour class
That took place fourteen and one half hours earlier, but
Feels like weeks earlier, and I close my eyes and catch glimpses of the in between …
Ringing bells and volleyball whistles, pink hall passes and panic attacks, quick glances at my phone, Instagram hearts from strangers, and I try to count all of the times that I heard a student call my name
Ms. Frederick, Ms. Frederick, Ms. Frederick, Ms. Frederick, Fred
All of the times I heard my children utter Mom. Mommy. Mom. MO-OM. Mother/eye roll
And as I start to fade into sleep, so fleeting and sparse, I wonder if I am spending my minutes the way I was destined to.
Or if perhaps there are voices shouting Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, but I am just to pre-occupied to hear the chants of my own longing, or if they will even still be chanting once all of the chaos clears.
Will they have given up on me? Lost their patience? Find a new girl? Someone who doesn’t have frizzy hair and heat rash?
Before dreaming (I dreamt I asked a boy to ride horses with me and my horse collapsed from a thyroid condition) I try to stop the world from spinning just long enough to hear my own soul whisper my name.
Just to know I am still in there,
Patiently hibernating, barely a pulse, waiting and still, breathing just the same.