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.