Select Page

Poem: IRL

On days when the kids are bored,
they drag themselves to me
on feeble legs, staggering
under the load of their need
for something to make them
feel alive.

So I kick them outside—
not for the exhilarating effect of nature
(though there is that), but because
the effect of being followed
by a small, whining person
is enough to unhinge
my tired mind.

I close the door with relief
as they run off to the sunlit grass,
and then I take my mind by the hand,
and limp with it to the nearest

I, too, am starving to feel alive,
and so to take the edge off this hunger
I guzzle a stream of 140-character
blips and blurbs, and then move on
to the meat of e-mail
and blog posts.

Afterward, though,
part of me is still not satisfied,
so I try to re-enter real life
by tidying up the house,
my eyes scanning the pieces of my world
to find what is lovely and worthy
of gratitude.

Sure enough—
late afternoon sun is filling
the window over the kitchen sink
with a golden warmth that hallows
those dry garlic bulbs sending out
withered sprouts on the sill.

My first impulse
is to post a picture
of this redemptive beauty,
for all the world to behold and enjoy—

but I’m rescued
by the racket of the kids
bursting in the door
to announce the unexpected arrival
of our neighbor and her daughter,
who have walked over—
on their feet—
to spend time with us
this sunny day.

© 2012 Sarah Dunning Park

Reading Time:

< 1 minute





  1. Naomi

    Thanks for yet another great weekend link! Especially loved the Gypsy Mama post!

  2. tacy

    such a refreshing poem. thank you!

  3. Sarah Park

    Thanks, Tacy!! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Chase Christy

    Isn’t it bizarre that we tend to veer towards the very activities that make us feel the worst about our own existence. It’s like a self-destructive streak that unites us all. I constantly fight the urge to zone out while real life passes me by – like a mosquito to the ugliest shade of luminescence ever beheld.

    • Sarah

      Yes! It’s a ‘quick fix’… but we’re left feeling worse, so often.

  5. Maggie

    Thanks for the “tricky people” link, great advice for keeping our kids safe.

  6. Valerie

    I love Sarah’s commitment to finding hallowed moments in withered garlic bulbs and disarray…I’m training my eyes and my heart to see this way, too.

  7. The Accidental Housewife

    Yes! That poem sums up exactly why I went screen free yesterday – I needed to live my real life, to be reminded of my own corner of wonder.

    I love the imagery of the kids rescuing her!

    • Sarah

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I think I need to go screen free more often… 🙂

  8. Nicole @ Simple Organic

    I just love Sarah’s poetry. It so echoes my life. (we’re a pear budget family, too, Sarah!)

  9. Sarah

    Awesome!!! Nicole, it’s great to meet you! I’m thrilled that you connect with my poetry, and I love meeting our PearBudget users! (Hopefully you know this, but *please* e-mail or send a tweet any time you wish it did something differently!)

Join thousands of readers
& get Tsh’s free weekly email called
5 Quick Things,

where she shares stuff she either created herself or loved from others. (It can be read in under a minute, pinky-swear.)

It's part of Tsh's popular newsletter called Books & Crannies, where she shares thoughts about the intersection of stories & travel, work & play, faith & questions, and more.