Two AM

I wander through the hush of the house

My son’s room, too large
For one young man
To which he feels entitled.
From his dorm he has carted
Every breed of
From the kitchen he has dropped
Every sort of
From the bed he emits
Every manner of
He faces the window, wide open,
Willing himself into stars and planets
The Space of his fascination.
I look on him, past looming shapes of what must be
I think there is a picture of his baby self
And me
Somewhere in there.
Maybe on a shelf
Under the books.
I go slowly, sliding,
Safeguarding my toes against dark, sharp edges
To put a kiss to his brow,
“Thanks, Mom. Cover me?”

Another day passed
My young man needing a hug
But I
Unable to let go of his neck.
Another day coming
We will replay
Those breaking, escaping scenes of mother and son
But at two AM
We are still.

A not little girl lives here, too
Sleeping away her childness
In the smaller room
Opposite her brother’s.
Her face becoming unround
As other cheeks become so.
I cannot stay away
Needing to touch the spray of long, dark hair
On the sheets of pastel fairies
Under her canopy.
The far corner crammed
With vanishing breeds of over-loved ponies
Bad-hair dolls in makeshift cots
And a billion precious beads.
Their places giving way to
Bottles of creamy glitter
Pages of fantastic adventure
Photos of ten best friends
And shirts that soon
Won’t fit.

Sweet in sleep
Still sweet in waking
Still seeking
Big-bed nights
Cozies on the couch
Shared cookies
Cartoon movies.
We laugh more than most
To made-up, us-only lyrics
And the joy of each other.
I stop my heart from looking past
Our dreamy compatability.

Here with us
Is my mother
Vital, beautiful, breaking
Her room too still.
She is too still, again
To sleep
To eat
To listen and smile
Trying not to release the sounds of pain
Tryng still to protect
Even as her body abandons her.
I am watchful, my eyes reaching
Hers retreating
She and I know what is true
And speak it in silence.
She is light.
I try
As we slow our way
Down the stairs,
To the couch,
The porch
The bathroom.

The ambulance has come twice since summer.
It will come again.
My wonderful, wise children
Will meet the moment
Knowing well
What abandons, what remains.
It is only us.
I am proud.
My heart warm, my eyes hot.

Almost morning.
My own room, cold, is empty
Except for debris
That never moves past the bottom of the list
And a stray cat
That may not stay
Nor come into the house
Nor into my room.
I am in bed, again too late.
I read
I think
I pray
I do not sleep.

Two AM


Joined January 2008

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