Dottie stirs as dawn light seeps
through the bedroom curtains;
Willie breathes deeply in his sleep.
Sammy, who had arrived with
her brother Willie the night before,
sleeps in the guest room along
the passage. She listens to the birds
singing from the garden, watches
as the seeping sunlight plays on
the duvet covers like mischievous
children. She is happy; Willie is back,
Sammy has arrived with his talk of
the city, his books, the poems, but
nothing of his wife or son or daughter.
They had been up late with talk and
laughter and she had studied Sammy,
and was, she admits to herself, a little
envious of his wife to have one such
as he, when maybe it ought, she feels,
to have been her. But she has Willie.
She will always have him. He stirs then
turns over. She watches his breathing,
how his hand lies on the duvet, his
fingers still, the nails just so, neat
and trimmed. She had missed him;
missed him being there, reciting his
poems, and she writing them down,
their walks, their laying under the trees
watching the sky, or by their small lake
studying the birds, the ducks, swans
or occasional dragonfly. She looks at
the bedside clock. She will make them
breakfast and a pot of tea and go
breathe in the morning air, remember
the night. Willie had kissed her eyelids
shut to help her sleep. She can still
feel his lips there. She runs a finger
along his arm, making a snail like
move as if along a leaf or flower top.
She has missed him so. The tears she
had shed. The laying awake those nights
he was away. The headaches, the bleeds,
the monthly curse. She pauses her finger.
She has reached his hand; she rests her
hand on his, lets it lay. Oh for a fresh
morning, she whispers, oh for a new day.