Counting Cotton

I can tell time passed
by the reduction
of the contents
of the bumper pack
of cotton buds,

that one in the cupboard,
below our sink,
its product packed
so thick that patience
is needed to tug one out.

When that count is half-done
will we be half-emptied
by the rituals of cleaning
up residues of errors,
which only they can reach?

Eventually a rattled reminder
to replacements-required,
another thought about
what we have bought,
are we ever re-stocking?
Will that be when we stop?

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