I’ve tried not to get bound up by the passage of days
coiling around the last times that come with the last child.
Our final steps through the preschool doors or watching the way
their handprints still fit inside of mine, the colors blending to frame
the changing seasons. The last Halloween where the three of us
will Trick-or-Treat and pretend goblins stalk us in the shadows.
One day she doesn’t want to hold her breath and pretend she’s a mermaid
under the milky bathtub water anymore. So, when I shower, I close my eyes
and catalogue how many lasts are slipping through my fingers.
Suddenly it’s the last minutes of a long day already stuffed with worries,
and I resolve to let my fears scamper down the drain while I forget about
the waning lasts and instead welcome the firsts waiting for us tomorrow.
Sarah Clayville’s work has appeared in the Threepenny Review, Literary Orphans, and StoryChord, among other journals. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and currently works as an American Literature and Creative Writing teacher. Read her work at SarahSaysWrite.com or follow her on Twitter @SarahSaysWrite.