by Christine Penko
On good days
it appears we are all ascending.
beginning to complain about something or other,
pick up the soggy dish-sponge instead.
The mail arrives on time.
We look at our children’s homework
and notice their spelling has improved.
The fog lifts.
An outline of a not distant island becomes clear.
We decide to forgo the second martini,
the last piece of chocolate cake.
There’s a sweet lightness—
familiar yet surprisingly new.
Just when we thought newness
a thing of our past, it rises,
a pale balloon floating
toward air unable to sustain us.
Yet we turn our faces upward,
fixed on the trajectory of ascent,
as if our lives depended on it.