by Carl Santoro

She awoke, but kept her eyes closed.

Lying in bed, she felt, she guessed,

that it must be around 3 a.m.ish.

She snuck a quick glance at the

clock radio.


Exactly 3:00 a.m.

She unclenched her two tight fists

and slowly, gently, splayed her

fingers out on the sheets.

She was afraid.

Afraid today, like every day.

Afraid of the word "purpose."

She imagined herself getting up

to make coffee.

She fooled herself into thinking

she smelled it.

A little on the strong side she thought.


Purpose - go away!

What do you want?

I gave you two daughters.

I gave you four grandchildren.

I'm done.

What do you want?

She could feel her hands

forming tight fists again.

I'm old now. You took my husband.

I've graduated. Haunt the young. Leave me

to be care free.

Her eyes still closed, she made another guess.

It could be 4 a.m.ish.

Her cat licked her fist.

She slowly, gently splayed her fingers

out on the sheets.