I wake up early most morning times
to fret about this and that inside my head,
accumulating tiredness, while she lies,
serene, a dream playing with her eyelids
and now and then a corner of her mouth.
In moments of doubt, I shake her wrist
or touch her lips and she wakes,
in a riot of eyelashes, flashing
the loss of connection to the
night story, her hair a honey glory
of curls swirling across the pillow,
perfectly placed so her face rises
right in the middle, where she left it last night.
There is a moment, just a moment,
moving from one world to the other,
when she seems unsure of whether
she should push through to the new day,
play a ray of light to help the sun along;
or slip back into the soft folds of the
old night’s incantations which have
enchanted and cleansed her. She
usually decides, nearly arrived, to stay,
ready to be provider, adviser, a shoulder,
a foot soldier in each day’s denial
of the negative, the grey, the single file.
She is a shepherdess of human hearts.
And when she’s weary after each allotted
task is done, and the sand of a day has
long plunged down the narrow gap by which
acts that come from love alone
should be allowed to pass, I
ask myself whether it is right to
burden her when sleep calls. Sometimes
I stare at two dark walls or across
the room to a lowered blind, find
peace of mind in knowing she has
prayed for me, in her own way, and so
join her in her journeys through riddles we’ve set
in waking hours, by leaving much unsaid.
Which leads to thoughts of bed, the night-time
chessboard, each game played in pairs, where
combinations of pieces, awake and sleeping,
guess and out-guess the others, then themselves.
They dig and delve into a shifting void of
untold, un-dared desires and requirements that
litter the emptiness, unsure as to where to go,
what to try, whether to fall or fly, whom to seek out.
Such are my thoughts, somewhere between the
night’s black and white. I think I am there alone,
most of the time; and as the sun begins to buy the day,
I see the peace in the new lines in the new face
and know who won at chess in just one move.