“I can’t do this anymore!”
The laptop stares at me from the kitchen table
where I sit, defeated head fallen into helpless hands.
It has stalked me from my work office to my home.
Black and white pixels layer documents across its screen,
a lasagna of files dumped from an overstuffed virtual briefcase.

I can’t do this anymore.
My husband stares at me from the kitchen counter
where he sits, a lukewarm mug of coffee cupped in soft hands.
Did I say that out loud?
His disapproving frown indicates that I did.

I shove the opened laptop across the table.
It stops just shy of the edge.
I wish it would have fallen,
hit the linoleum floor and
shattered into a million pieces.
I wish I could do the same.

“Two more years,” he says.
“Stick with it for two more years, and then I can retire.
We’ll move to the valley and you won’t have to work.”

Two more years? I can’t do that.
Nor can I fathom any middle ground between
two more years and not anymore.

I can feel myself being compelled toward the edge
where I will teeter until the inevitable fall.
I wonder how many years it will take
to recover the million pieces.

In response to the dVerse Poetics prompt:

“… the Poetics challenge today is to write a confessional verse in the style of [Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton…] … or write something which plays with the ideas expressed here — to put your regrets, your guilts, your sins, your humanity, your lived experiences, and all that you have kept within, out there through unbridled frankness or hyperbole or hidden allusions and metaphors or in any which way you want. It is all about challenging the restrictions that we impose in our written expression and to share something which is depictive of our own self.” 

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in humanity, poetry, serious stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Overload

  1. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice description of a middle ground between “two more years and not anymore.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. msjadeli says:

    i love the angst you capture here

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grace says:

    I can’t handle the lasagna of files dumped on me either I can relate to the dreadful waiting, teeterring to the fall, and wondering if you can recover. You can and will!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie C says:

      This was an incident from years ago. I am now lasagna-free, and in collecting back the million pieces, it is amazing how many of them I don’t really need. Thank you.


  4. Angela says:

    Oh, wow. I could feel the anger and frustration right on the surface of this. Also, I can relate so much to this! I’m in that purgatory of time as well, and can’t fathom the the distance or repercussions. So well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Violet Lentz says:

    I have found that once something difficult is over, its over. You will recover and go on and it will be grand. Excellently told.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. V.J. Knutson says:

    Oh, I’ve been there – so stressful. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kim881 says:

    Oh, I know this feeling, Maggie. As, Jade said, you’ve captured the angst. You will blossom when you retire and finally say no to file lasagne!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, both the stress and the angst are palpable in your words. There is a lot of theatrics in the setting of this scene like the laptop teetering on the edge, which again adds into the confessional narrative. The despair of the emotional distance and this breaking is quite painful. Very well penned!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. robtkistner says:

    Just keep pushin’ pushin’ pushin’ into the future Mags. The golden ting is just beyond your gaze…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sanaarizvi says:

    You portray the angst and overwhelming level of stress so eloquently here!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can imaging two years… but with a lasagna of files it sounds overwhelming… it’s always better in the morning though

    Liked by 1 person

  12. JANE says:

    I was very concerned about you…
    Such a relief to discover this was a flash back from a very difficult time. Sometimes it’s good to revisit, and, to celebrate tough roads traversed and triumphs earned.
    Keep well 💌

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie C says:

      Thank you, Jane. Yes, that was a whole ‘nother lifetime. When picking up the shattered pieces of one’s life, one gets to choose which pieces to keep and which ones to relegate to the dust bin. For me, it’s been transformative.


  13. Nora says:

    The silent lukewarm coffee is a poignant touch amid the near destruction of all else. I’m glad you’re not there any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. memadtwo says:

    Sometimes the closer it gets, the harder to wait. You’ve caught the feeling well. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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