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Despair laps over me in waves.

Despair for my life and dreams, my children, my community, my country, and this planet.

Will the water be safe to drink?

Will the ceiling in our bedroom cave in if it rains too hard?

Will our school lose teachers to budget cuts?

Will Iraq use the bomb?

How will my children pay for this war?

Will my boys live to adulthood?

Will my headaches ever end?

Will our public school system completely disintegrate?

Will our car last one more year?

What is that shadow on my lung?

How do I stand again tomorrow to withstand the waves of despair?

My mother calls about a problem on her computer and I solve it for her.

I put another load of laundry in and find the “the rock” in my son’s pocket that is to remind him to be steady.

I look up and my son says, “look Mom, papa cardinal is back at the bird feeder.”

I talk to the principal at the boys’ school about the grant we are working on there.

I walk to the library and post office instead of driving.

I write to my senator and invite the guy who is running for mayor over to talk.

I vote.

I read.

I draw.

I breathe in

Then out

Then in again.