Middle Age

by Tom Bajoras

By day you are queen of the dust pan, wielder of the broom.
By night you dream the same dreams
that nourished you this far.
There’s a word that isn’t yours at the end of your name;
Neither are the house, the car, the cat,
and maybe not your soul.
Where are the rushing streams and mountains
that called you in your youth?
Have they been shelved
along with the rest of you
in a museum case
where fossilized ambitions are on display?
Move slowly up and down the stairs:
There’s nothing at the top,
Nothing at the bottom,
And you are on your knees, somewhere between.