Brian Rihlmann: “Certainty”




as I sweep the garage this morning, I
pause to watch the dust twirl in a
beam of sunlight streaming through the
window.  I remember pounding the
floral print cushions of our couch when I
was five, just to enjoy this same dance,
as Saturday morning cartoons droned
unobserved in the background.  then 
again, 20 years later, at seven a.m. 
on a Sunday morning, after putting all the 
stools up, and sweeping the broken 
glass and cigarette butts off the floor, 
while the last of my regulars snored 
off his whiskey with his head on the bar.
I’d lean on my broom and watch the day
pour in through the grimy window, 
revealing just how filthy a dive it really was, 
no matter how you scrubbed it…but the 
light itself, and how the dust swirled…
I smile at the continuity, the certainty—
there will never come a time when 
this mundane occurrence ceases 
to be also magical.


About the Author: Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey and currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse poetry, and has been published in The Blue Nib, The American Journal of Poetry, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, and others. His first poetry collection, “Ordinary Trauma,” (2019) was published by Alien Buddha Press.


More By Brian Rihlmann:

The Whole Point of the Game

Unknown Soldiers


Image Credit: Arthur Rothstein “Bartender. Birney, Montana” (1939) The Library of Congress

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