Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've been up since 2 a.m.

Lots of coffee
and two hour naps
will do that, you know.

The house is quiet at 2 a.m.
Except for the incessant murmur
of the furnace
trying to keep up with the draft
coming in the back door.
...Because the weather stripping
is worn.

Every few minutes
I hear the ice maker
dropping perfectly formed cubes
into its plastic tray.

And my Regulator clock
ticks away minutes
as the pendulum races
to keep up the rhythm.

I turn on the Christmas tree.
A slightly lopsided triangle
of artificial pine branches,
draped with tangled lights
and rodent-damaged ornaments.

It's beautiful.

It makes me want to
dust off the Christmas CD's
and listen to the old crooners
talk about home.

I love my home.

I'm glad that I'll be
all warm inside on Christmas-
baking a sweet ham.
And disfigured pies
that leak onto the oven
and cause the smoke alarm
to panic prematurely.

This is my nest.
I've feathered it
with hand-me-downs
and yard sale finds
and a bold Sherwin-Williams palette.

I snuggle deeper
into my favorite chair-
the pillow misshapen
from the dog's heavy siestas.

The clock says 2:45.
I'm still not sleepy.

My life flashes before me.
Not quickly like it does
when you're dying.
But slowly,
like it does when you're living.

I try to remember the months.
Each one up till now.

I can't remember most.

Only a few stand out-
like brighter stars
in a sea of midnight.

fresh zucchini-
the smell of lilacs...
bare feet on clover...
the scent of burning leaves...
the laughter of too much wine...

All the other memories
that I did not save
fell off the edge of time
and floated softly
into an ocean
too deep to fathom.

I cannot get them back.
I cannot ever remember them.

A dog barks outside.
The furnace finally clicks off.
A dozen perfect ice cubes
fall like newborns
into a blanket of clones.

I go back to bed.
Crawl under the covers
and touch my husband's head.

He's snoring.
And he needs a haircut.

I love him.

I stare at his back
for what seems like hours
and then my eyes finally close
and it is morning.