11/30: I WON’T WORRY MY LIFE AWAY

In the sixth grade, if we got up early enough,
my mom would take my brother Brent and me before school
to Round Rock Donuts,
with enough change in our pockets
we didn’t have to walk into the morning
empty-handed.
we bought donut-holes by the bag
the orange icing, its own little sun—
it is the perfect bite.
A ritual, I would come to learn,
are small blessings on a schedule.
Back then, in the mornings, Brent rode shot gun,
a birth right in my family
and that meant the radio belonged to him.
And most mornings, it was 96.7 KISS FM
with Bobby Bonez as the DJ –
Prince of the Round Rock Airwaves
spinning top 40 hits for the youth of America.
I remember The Remedy by Jason Mraz
playing every single morning for weeks.
I had it memorized by the end of day 3
I won’t worry my life away
I won’t worry my life away

The morning car ride to school
meant we were lucky enough not to ride the bus
it was a ritual.
Whenever it played,
the backseat became a sunrise symphony
a boy bursting his lungs
free to sing
without judgment and without interruption.
You can turn off the sun but I’m still gonna shine.
That line can probably explain
why my light shines the way it does
without judgement and without interruption.
Never knew a shadow I couldn’t overpower since then,
What my mom thought, who knows.
She was on her way to work,
She was dropping her sons off at school.
She had a mission, a purpose.
Meanwhile, I found joy in the in-between.
Another ritual,
my own remedy.