100 Days of Gladness: Day 19

NaPoWriMo: “Joy from the Shadows”

2 min readApr 2, 2024
image courtesy of stock.adobe.com

Because this is National Poetry Writing Month, I am freeing my ego to go play elsewhere, while I explore the challenge (with a playful heart) of writing a poem every single day for a month. Here is the entry for April 2, 2024.

Joy watches me from the shadows.
She’s not shy. She just isn’t pushy.
She doesn’t waste herself that way.

She waits in the shadows of the gray,
almost, pre-dawn morning.
Will I get it this time?
Will I notice her?

I wake up, reach over and tap my phone —
what time is it? It’s time to get up.
I don’t want to.

She waits.
Will I do what I always do? Hoist myself up and out
of bed, ache and toddle to the bathroom, cranky as I pee,
aware only of the rolling ball of mercury, a headache
flexing for attention?

Or, before getting up, will I spend a minute — maybe two —
aware of my weight and warmth under the covers.

Will I steep in the stillness, letting my full volume
sink into the support system under my body.
I have loved this bed for 21 years, but only
for relief at the end of a day. Can I love it
for joy at the beginning?

Will I take a moment to feel the ridiculous, dumb luck
of waking up in a place where no bombs are falling
all around me all the time, where I’m fed and warm,
all four limbs in tact, my earlobes and eyelids perfectly in place!
where my children live their lives without wondering whether
they’ll starve, or be tortured, or be dead tomorrow —

She sees me.
She’s been waiting for me in the shadows,
and she sees me. She merges now
with the morning
and me
and I feel her.
I feel the happy of her.

Just for a moment, I look out the window
and gasp with wonder at the camellia bush which,
this year, for our last spring in this house,
has offered up an embarrassment of blooms,
each licking the air with its petals,
whispering Yay! in flowerspeak,
each humming with the life
that I get to feel right now,
under these covers,
in this room.

Joy is always watching
from the shadows.

Tina Lear has written since she could hold a pencil. She’s completed four musicals with her long time collaborator, writer Elise Forier-Edie, taught yoga to inmates at Rikers Island, performed for thousands at Folk Festivals nationwide, and driven cattle in Wyoming. Check out her debut fantasy novel recently released, and her collection of poetry: Partial Views. If you want to interact with her about books, join her Website, Facebook Page, Instagram, and LinkedIn




Novelist. Poet. Musician. Buddhist. Quilter. Animal lover. Visible grownup. Hidden child. Secret dancer when all alone. Makes good bread.