free verse

Jolt

When the tabletop stares back at you
and the lamp lights nothing but empty air,
when all the alcoves are dark
and filled with dust and quiet
and the window is open
but the curtains are not stirring,
then you will know that your life
is standing still,
and you will find that you cannot lift your eyes
from the book lying open on the table
and the word you have been reading
for a day and a lifetime.
But if god is smiling on our little corner of the universe,
you will hear the phone ring in the kitchen,
and you will answer it
and forget the word typed in black ink
and the tabletop and the spiders in their dark haunts.
You will wash your hands
with dish soap in the kitchen sink
and remember that you let the dog out
one hundred years ago
and that it is getting dark.

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