Outstanding Payments

by Maggie Bowyer

It’s an honor to know Tuesday
Is more of a Monday for you;
To know you’ll be home on time
And to talk on all of your breaks.
You’ve been working so hard
To cover the medical bills in the corner;
You deserve a vacation to Montana
But at least we can drive to Atlanta.

For twenty years before you,
I lived like a cactus, guzzling
Every nicety and giggle, unsure
Of the next trickle or downpour;
The last three years, laughter
Has erupted out of me constantly,
Transformed into a hot spring.
I apologize if you get burned;
I’m more of a geyser than a spa
But I’ve been taking more courses
On relaxation, meditation,
Cultivating my garden of Zen;
I’ve been too nervous to invite you in.

You enjoy sleeping in but between
The cats scratching the kitchen cabinet
And Spring banging on our screen door,
You’ve been up taking care of us all.
One day, I will buy us a home, just
A bit of land, enough but not too much;
Today, I will put the kettle on for coffee
While you hang dry our laundry.

About the author:

Maggie Bowyer (they/them/theirs) is a poet, cat parent, and the author of various poetry collections including Ungodly (2022) and When I Bleed (2021). They are an essayist with a focus on Endometriosis, chronic pain, and trauma. They have been featured in Bourgeon Magazine, Capsule Stories, Plainsongs Poetry Magazine, The Abbey Review, Troublemaker Firestarter, Wishbone Words, and more. They were the Editor-in-Chief of The Lariat Newspaper, a quarter-finalist in Brave New Voices 2016, and they were a Marilyn Miller Poet Laureate. You can find their work on Instagram @maggie.writes.

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