Sunday Morning

for my daughter

Sunday morning
and it’s just you and me
on this day,
unseasonably cool
and bright with the promise
of dawn and nourishment
as you stand beside me
carefully, chair tucked
backward against the counter
just as I’ve showed you—
you offer
onomonapeaic commentary
on the sizzle of pancakes
we co-create,
frozen blueberries dropping
within each pale thought-bubble
to a backdrop of jazz.

I’ve forgotten what it’s like
this you and me—
how much we need each other,
and how I have learned to cut my heart
out at the seams
to feed you.
How I have become your lioness
prowling the streets
for your prey,
how I’ve learned to ignore
the howl of missing you
echoing invisibly
in the hollow caves of my heart,
as I amble home
too tired and alone
to offer more
than fences.

But today it is Sunday,
before noon—
this morning sparkles with the promise
of all we’ve learned to live without.
First, breakfast on the porch;
then, anything—we could drive
to the glass conservatory
at the botanic gardens
only to smell each orchid,
or lick the curling tips
off cones of frozen custard.
You ask me what we’re listening to,
and I tell you: Charlie Parker,
a man they called Bird—you like this.
You beg for icy blueberries;
for a chance to stir the batter,
even though it’s already mixed—
I let you.

Tomorrow I will be your hunter again.
I may not always laugh at your antics
or share your delight
as you crouch to examine an ant parade
when I’m running late for work;
or remain patient as I brush your nest of curls.
I may bark if your wiggling legs
kick my frazzled nerves,
or snap if your laughter
breaks my brooding dialogue
with spectres of bills and death.

Someday if you read this,
you will know the secret
of all our missing places—
and that I always understood
all I didn’t give,
all my heart cried for in secret:
how I wanted to be there with you,
to laugh and examine ant-convoys
each day and everyday.
Please don’t give up.
I am there with you—

Leave behind
all you know didn’t fit
what I’d planned for you
in the well-appointed house
of my heart—
the stained kitchen table,
laundry piling up,
a deadline distracting me,
the collection call’s interruption.
I am not even close
to all I wanted to be.

But take this one thing
and hold it with all your might:
our Sundays of the senses,
of shared mischief
and discovery
where my soul can play
in the lazy dawn,
and you and I can be we again.

© Psyche Marks 2007

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