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Sick Day
by Emily Scudder

I have bags under my eyes.
I have bags under the bags
under my eyes. What's worse?
My co-worker told me so.
At home my kids won't let me
sleep. I'm sick! Sick! Doesn't that
mean anything to you? I don't want
an answer. I just want sleep.
Now they want to apologize.
Now they want a hug.
Now they are on top of me
wanting me to apologize.
Because I yelled at them.
Because I hurt their feelings.
A nap. That's all I ask. Is that
really so hard? I play my part
as if on a stage in a performance
of a woman's life like mine.
As if the dramatic delivery
of a script might make a difference.
He nods, my son, the older one.
He yanks his sister to the door.
I told her to be quiet, Mom.
It was her idea to come in!

Emily Scudder lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and two children. She works as a library assistant, labor activist, and workplace mediator. Her poems have appeared in Agni Online, Swivel: The Nexus of Women and Wit, Xavier Review, Soundings East, Epicenter, and Tiger's Eye. You can read more poetry by Emily here and here.