by Trish Hopkinson

I decide to move more
slowly, consciously taking my time

emptying the dishwasher one plate
into the cupboard, one fork into the drawer,

walk across to place a single cup on a shelf
then remember I’ve been meaning to clean

the stovetop, pause the putting away
and clean—remove the knobs, the cast

iron burner grates, spray on cleanser
and wipe away debris—now return

to the previous task, realizing
how intentional I must be to not focus

on efficiency, how well I have trained
myself to never waste a second

to plan every future moment
so as to never miss a thing; I slip

my running shoes on, now
just for strolling, select something long

to listen to, gradually make my way
down the sidewalk, onto the path

and down the hill to the convenience store
and yes, I typically drive, because the hill

is steep and on most days
seems more than I can manage

at the pace I like to keep, but today
I shorten my stride, walk to prevent

joint pressure, ease my way down
then on the return, ease my way up

as if I’ve no other thing to do, as if life
is paused and I’m the only one in the world.

— from Juniper Volume 4, Issue 1