The Small Notches

© Piotr

An entire week and I finally rubbed
the last of the price tag’s sticky residue
from the coffee mug I bought off the off-price rack.
At last, my fingers stretched around the warm
steel without cinching in the goop,
and that was the third notch for happiness.

Yesterday morning, I lost the little clip
that attaches my earphone cord to my lapel
and arrests the wire’s tendency to strangle the scruff.
Then suddenly, I spotted the tiny gray clamp on the gray
carpet, a jot of differentiation,
and that was the second notch for happiness.

The week began, as they do, at the drive-up.
I was two dimes short until I remembered
the accidental exchequer
beneath my car seat, an APR
of nickel dribbles from my pocket.
Sliding back the bucket, I found enough
for both the brew and a bonus shot of demitasse.
That was not the first notch, of course, just the hint
that set the iotas to accruing.

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