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This author is a recipient

of the Sigma Tau Delta Award

Sigma Tau Delta Awarde

all I wanted to do is finish

this one story from my day

over the only dinner I had the energy to make:

a frozen pizza

my job requires death by a thousand cuts

if the cuts are questions and decisions

made in nearly every moment

where I support your kids

but have little patience or energy

left for my own

then I arrive home,

and my third traveling companion is

the onslaught of needs:

the opening of snacks, answering homework questions,

getting the kitchen ready for dinner,

making sure everyone plays nice

my husband calls me on his way home

with his work story

that I try to focus on through the noise

and while doing the dishes, the clean-up,

a reaction thrown in when there’s a brief, expectant pause

when I finally sit down,

their plates emptying while I’ve only just begun

I just want to get through my story

it isn’t even that important or long

but my son needs a refill of his milk

which he indicates with a slide of his cup in my direction

right after I set up the context,

and my daughter wants a piece of my pizza

which she yells at me insistently with grabby hands out

right after I get to the main parties involved,

and my son won’t eat the food I made again,

and my daughter wants a certain song to play,

and every sentence I try to start

is finished by them


my story stays unfinished

the moment has passed


Kelsey Rentfro-Cline ('11) is a teacher and tired mom who hasn't written a poem since undergrad at Ambrose in 2011 but felt compelled suddenly one night in 2023. She has two degrees from Ambrose (and was a former Quercus judge, in fact) and an MA in English from WIU-QC.


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