Morning Practice

Note: this is not my own work. It was written by a friend and former colleague, and shared here with his permission.

Before the angry buzz disturbs your sleep

my groggy fingers fumble for the shutoff
I open one dreamclouded eye
to welcome in the not-quite-morning light
Turning my head I see you curled beside me breathing softly;
tousled strands of chestnut flow
across your sweet unconscious face
Your presence overcomes me, and
it’s nearly all that I can do to keep from touching you awake

And yet, I know my ceremony waits

Slowly I slide one leg free of the covers,
and trying to avoid the mattress’ creak
transferring weight from bed to floor
I tear myself from you into the day
Donning the blue and white kimono
which has become my most familiar costume,
I gently close the bedroom door behind me
attempting to prolong a few more precious moments of your rest

Now, kitchen tasks performed in mindful silence

Plates on the table; water set to boil;
dark beans to grind; the napkins; silverware;
the cutting board and knife; the loaf of bread;
the butterdish and jam. What is it I’ve forgotten?
Inspired, I pick a rose from off the bush outside
and set it in a crystal by your place

My ritual nearly done

(I sneak away sometimes for newspapers and bagels
but today there’s work, so only time
to share an apple and some raisin toast before the day begins)
I sit awhile awash in morning’s momentary silence
watching the neighbor’s patchwork cat intent upon her roof
engaged in stalking some imagined prey

The moment comes–

The water’s boiled and through the grounds;
The little kitchen clock reminds me time is fleeting
I pour the cup and set it on its saucer
and praying not in clumsiness to spill your morning brew
I start my daily pilgrimage
toward the room where you lay sleeping

No handsome prince,

I gladly act my part in this our daily fairytale
awakening you with coffee and a kiss


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