by Ellie Peek
I saw your RSVP on the calendar. From now until the end of the days, there you are. What a well-mannered end of weekend. You are always on time, with a full gift of hours.
You bring 24—same as your brothers and sisters. Yet, something about the way you give yourself stays with me. Seven matching offerings, given differently.
Dutiful Monday will close my hands around its small, blue container. Friday, with urgency and ribbon, appears a large, red, and mostly empty package in my arms. These must be opened and put to use. Sunday, you are that familiar rectangle. Brown paper, string, and a good weight to you. You do not demand to be unwrapped at all. Your gift is simply given, without implication or cellophane. Your gift is time—time to do nothing at all.
I often ignore your golden, early parts. I even sometimes let your middle slip away. Always, I roam aimlessly in your quiet finale. I make circles and half-circles across your surface. I read fiction, I wash myself, and I smell something cooking. I know you would never use me for obligations.
Sunday, use me for easy things. Use me to rescue firm, bright cherry tomatoes. Use me to fold blankets. Use me to pet the cat, and pick tiny black hairs off a skirt for an hour. Use me to eat more than my share and to feel uncomfortable. Use me to leave dirty dishes in porcelain stacks by the sink. Use me to free braided hair, in irreverent curls on my shoulders, and eventual knots. Use me to beg forgiveness.
Let me waste you away. I’m sorry I always waste you away.
Sunday, your obligation is simple: arrive, always. The task is thankless and crucial.
You are a promise that exists before and after me. I weep when you go, for not using you better.
Sunday, the overflowing cup. The muffled hiss of curtains across a stage.
God’s only moment to sigh.
I sigh in you too, but not like a God.
Lower me with grace, into another round of seven.
a committed sinner
Ellie is an English major and senior at BYU. Her favorite writers come from the Harlem Renaissance and professor recommendations. She loves poetry even when it doesn’t love her back, and plans on pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing.