Sphnix Life

I live my life in several stages

child, toddler, adult

and each layer

has to slip then slide

into position

to complete each act

eating, talking, work.

I have to be enough alive

to move along

to wake up

and learn

the basic steps


out the door.

each day.

Sometimes I cut

up food to baby sized


and feed myself

each bite forced.

Sometimes I eat like I’ll never eat again.

I appear and disappear

like high and low tide

showing my rocks

then covering up

with smooth ripples.

Looking peaceful

I glide into rooms

and sit for hours

pretending to pay attention

nod sagely

as if I am aware.


At work I smile

and automate

my job

so well I can serve


and greet them by name

“how is our son?” “is your kitchen finished yet?”

without eye contact

without really knowing their features

I know my customers

life stories,

everyday troubles

and couldn’t pick

them out in a line up


For years I have tried to answer the sphinx’s riddle:

“what has four feet in the morning

to in the afternoon,

and three at night?”

I am toddler, woman, grandma.

Each day

I fail

To remain

My age.


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