For Ana Next To Me Asleep

 

 

still in the blind dark

finding my way by touch

I open just one curtain

slowly for the stars

then crawl in bed

again and you

do not wake or

even flinch

while I cup your hip

the clock drones on

like the bureaucrat it is

and I feel my body

collapsing around me

pathetic

these aches and pains

of fifty years

the cut-rate lungs

just refusing

to do their job

the bastards

before I listen

to your even breath

and try to match it

with my own

4 a.m.

both children asleep

in their rooms

below us

and my father

alone with his dreams

of another life

at the bottom

of our creaking house

this wind outside tonight

will not give anyone a break

wide-eyed

I talk to myself

ignore the clock

you are so warm

my love

I wonder now what

we might have made

of such a scene

well and rested

so long ago

in those nights

that were only ours

 

 

 

 

Nicolas Running

 

When you were small enough

to carry on my back

on those rare days

your mother could sleep in

hand in hand

without a word

out the door

then down two flights

we headed for the park

so ridiculously early

the streetlights might be on

or better yet the sprinklers

and of course you’d run

two steps full out

with me limping

quickly behind

this was all before

running ever needed a goal

or a set of rules

or even a ball

just zigzagging alone

like some crazed gopher

in a perfect world

you’d dodge each sprinkler

more often than not

then smile waiting

for your old man to catch up

the pigeons and the ducks

they hated us

and we always brought bread

though what I loved most

in that clear morning light

was how the faster you went

you never bothered to look back

for even then I knew

the worst would be forgetting

even as I watched over you

so closely somehow still

I lost the pitch of that laugh

as the birds scatter around you

in the nick of time

 

 

RC, 2010

 

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