Waiting for Daybreak

Curled up like a new leaf
poised to spring open,
I don’t dare budge
lest I find you spirited away
like last night’s muddled dreams.
Glued to your side,
my hand pressed against
the small of your back,
I wait for daybreak
to suffuse the room
with its warm, even glow.

You’re wearing a tweety-bird T-shirt,
a washrag draped across your eyes
in hostage style,
your knees propped up
by three large pillows
in preparation for
the accouchement or the seraglio.
Your full lips part to form
the perfect oval
of a carnivorous plant
about to swallow its prey.

Our little boy i.e. the dog,
is sprawled across the love seat,
his handsome boxer head
sunk down between two cushions,
emitting squeals of agitation
as his hind legs pedal
in endless pursuit of squirrels.
Leaving gravity behind,
he flies from tree to tree.

Slowly, hard edges are defined
and the symphony of
early morning sounds begins,
appliances hum,
the plumbing groans,
the carillon at the Baptist church
produces a stirring rendition of
Amazing Grace,
the garbage truck clanks its doors,
and at the stroke of seven,
the dog appears at our bedside,
licking our hands
and demanding to be let out.
We exchange a final hug and rise.

(originally published in Cyclamens and Swords)

 

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