Shifting: Out of Focus


Neutral. Coasting. Sleeping. Dreaming.
First alarm. Stop.
Second alarm. Snooze.
Then times two.
Time check: 6:42
Feet hit ground.
Time to start running.

Clutch, 1st gear, gas, go.
Time check: 7:02.
Dress, scurry. Hurry.
Rush the process. Push.

Clutch, 2nd gear, gas, go.
“Kids, get your clothes on.” Times 3 or ten?
Make breakfast.
Time check: 7:22.
Pack lunch.
“Kids, get your shoes on.” Really. Do.
Inhale the food.

Clutch, 3rd gear, gas, go.
To the Jeep.
Pile everyone in. Baggage: check!
Everyone buckled?
Time check: 7:42
Let’s go: heading South.
Oh, no traffic!
Stop. Go. Stop. GO!

Clutch, 4th gear, gas, go.
Cutting it close today.
Downshift to 3rd,
Prius going too slow. Sigh.
Time check: 8:02
To the bus stop.
Eight minutes to spare.
Made it, again today! Hooray!

Clutch, 5th gear, gas, go.
Back in Jeep.
Son, let’s go!
I know you want to stay.
Time check: 8:22
Time to go.
Off to daycare: heading East.
Please, don’t cry little one. I’m sad, too.

Clutch, 6th gear, gas, go.
Back in Jeep: heading North.
More traffic.
Up shift. Down shift. Stop. Go.
Time check: 8:42
Another Prius creates an
open right lane.
Another on time arrival.
Inhale, again.

Shift at will, just keep going.
Now, to start work. Busy, busy.
Squeeze in more patients.
Write more notes.
Time check: 9:22.
Remember what?
Keep up. Yes, breathe.

Now to downshift,
Replay morning’s path in reverse.
Tomorrow, begins anew much the same.
Lord, I don’t like this, again and again.
How can I shift?
How can I change this?
Please show me the way.


Photo by Feelart at

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