The Little Things by Erica Sternin


Library stairs

Our library has two floors, with sixteen stairs between them.
“Nothing That is Not For My Good Can Enter Here” I chant
Sixteen times, pushing my golden force field  past my finger tips,
As I rise, nauseous, to serve the public.Sixteen prayers protect me in a a golden halo
While I wipe down the keyboard shared with my coworkers.
It’s the little things. Like my fingernails, which are blackened and peeling.
Everyone expects the hair loss, but no one told me about the nails!

This beautiful child running to me – “We’re HERE!!” he cries.
I’ve known him since birth. Little Gray kicked and crowed,
As his mommy descended the sixteen stairs every week
For story time. I avert my face, and step away from his hug.
It’s the little things that will kill me.

From an Inky Path writing prompt.


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