The occasional groan of the wooden house
And steady soft breathing are all I hear
This dark night. My tired eyes
See nothing in the thick blackness of the room
But the glow from the alarm clock
And the pale yellow light that crawls
Beneath the drapes.
And the ache that set root
In the pit of my stomach
Slowly grows again, twisting its vining branches
Around every rib, until once again
My breaths are shallow
And painful, and salty drops of sadness
Roll down onto the pillow.
In the morning there will be time
To put away our tender dreams,
As one might put away dishes
In the cabinet of loving expectation.
But in this still moment I think of
The little saucer face,
A chipped teacup tooth
A round bowl filled with laughter.
And then, in the camera of my memory,
We slowly tuck the small lifeless form–
Dressed in soft cotton and
Fingers smaller than I’d imagined–
Into a floating cradle warm
With the linen and blanket
Of my swaddling love.
Like the dew outside,
Sleep descends mercifully.
And gently rocking like Moses’ basket,
The vessel drifts away.