Morning Come

In the morning

I wake first and rise

to walk the dog, and put on my tea

to boil. You still sleep so sound

in the morning dusk of our room.

I leave my boots at the door

and tip toe through the kitchen,

holding my breath

until I hear the coming-to of yours;

a rustle no more loud than leaves,

you climbing from the winded sheets.

By now you have noticed I am never there

when you wake.

One morning you asked why

I am so quiet, when I usually babble like a brook

and I joked the day had yet begun.

In truth, I am like a dancer waiting for her cue;

trained to hold my pose until the curtain does rise.

 

A time before this

mornings were dark places. The sun could not find me

in the bathroom with the door shut

doing my makeup before work,

fast as I might.

In the other room the day would rise with a crash,

and a grunt.

I would pause.

 

A grumble, a slam, the sloshing of ice in a cup.

I would wind my way around him,

move from the sink as he took over to brush his teeth,

hover by the stove as he spilled his coffee over my tea.

Some mornings rose with a smile

a ray of sun in the cloudy winter I inhabited,

and the day might unfurl sweetly,

but I would come home with a belly ache

expecting all things dimmmer in the eve’s darkness.

I know it was not your doing

but muscles have memory.

The day has never risen with me

rather always hinged on a sun

that did not always come

to chase away the darkest night from our mind.

So when you rise, groggy and worlds away

to slip past me at the stove on your way to the bathroom,

I will hold my pose

waiting on your cue-

waiting on your mood.