Awakening, Again

By Becca Downs

This is the room where I sleep,
where I eat bread and butter,
where I cry to God and myself.

This is where I stare at the ceiling 
and direct films to replace horror
with romance, comedy with comedy.

This is the window where I watch
squirrels chase other squirrels.
It’s new. Before there were no windows.

This is the lamp that started 
as a flashlight that started 
as a candle that started 
as a match that took sleepless weeks to light. 

Before then, this room was dark. 

Before the window 
and the match
I could only see 
the thin dim golden 
glow under the door. 

I kept time with footsteps—
visitors, well-wishers, friends. 
I think it was a friend who slipped
the match under the door.
I’d never lit a match before, 
But once flame flickered 
at my fingertips
I knew I could light a candle. 
Once I lit a candle, 
I knew I could illuminate
the floorboards before my feet. 
From there, my pupils 
constricted like pools of water 
under summer sun. 
This is how my life began again, 
how my life always begins
again and again—
with a slim ray of gold light,
an eyelid upon waking.

Published by HLWW Featured Author

Featured Author of the Heartland Society of Women Writers

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