The Kitchen’s a Mess

I’m in your old striped thermal

with a hole in the shoulder,

bra-less, and makeup smeared

from rubbing my eyes.

You’re shirtless, in boxers,

with an untidy beard.

Our chubby, ungraceful cat warms my lap

while I watch you play a video game.

Its simple, cheery music reminds me

of our gone days when it was okay

to just sit and breathe.

Tired, from the fight to get our child in bed.

Hopeful, because he sat on the potty.

Sad, because that isn’t enough

to quiet the clock,

ticking faster than ever.

The bills are paid,

my nails are dry,

but it’s too late to try

to create art out of nothing,

to work on myself,

so I stay on the couch

quietly wondering

if it’s okay

to feel this way.




Jennifer McClellan is an Indiana based poet who lives with her husband, son, and two cats.  She holds a degree from the University of Southern Indiana.  She works full time and loves to spend her evenings writing.  She is published in the Tipton Poetry Journal and Flying Island, Stirring: A Literary Collection and an upcoming issue of The Round Table Literary Journal.  She believes music and poetry are the heart of human connection and is thrilled to share her art.  Follow her at and on Instagram @jennifer.l.mcclellan.