The buzz and whine of the shredder
is company for a whole afternoon. I dig

deep into each folder in my file cabinet 
and lift out who knows how many years'

worth of dead paper—ancient receipts, stale
explanations of benefits or of where our

money went. When did we buy that? Why?
Where is it now? Still, I know more things

brought some version of happiness into this 
life we've made, even if briefly. I would stand

in a queue in the rain to listen to a rapturous 
writer or a beautiful song; would walk miles

through foggy green countryside, wait 
patiently for a herd of sheep to finish

crossing the lane. It seems easier now to not
give a thought about saying no to certain

demands. Before each child was born, I scoured
the walls and corners clean, bought an abundance

of flannel and blankets for the crib. These days,
I'm feverishly paring down to widen an aperture 

for light and air, a desk and chair— claiming ordinary 
space, hungry for a little more time for dreaming in again.

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