by Joanne Rosenthal

I’m home alone
baking blueberry muffins
and blasting Billy Joel
when happiness sneaks
up behind me like a kidnapper
and steals me away from myself.
I kick and scream
and cling for safety
to my scratchy burlap rope,
my sadness,
until my palms burn and slip
and finally lose their grip.
I am free-falling now,
whooshing past rainbows
and peace signs and highlighter-
yellow smiley faces
until I land with a plunk
in the world of the happy,
where tiny pleasures
poke out their noses
like baby bunnies
from every kitchen corner.
My muffin tops puff up
in the oven like skydivers’
parachutes; my fingers scrape
gloppy goo off the mixing bowl,
and these two things
are enough for me.


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