One year of night shifts, plus the regular.
Coupons clipped just to lead pennies to the safe haven of a Crown Royal bag.
Each week, I’d duck into the store, catch the eye of the manager, saying, “That one, he’ll like. Please hold it a little longer.”
Carried sardines for lunch and told myself, it’s better than tuna.
Tolerated bad manners and worse bosses for an envelope, half empty of what it could contain.
One year, and now it’s his birthday.
The squeak of wheels against concrete and aluminum is better than a good thing.
It’s the sound of elemental joy captured in a smile.
That’s what gets me up and on my way.
Copyright © 2012 Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter