It’s 4 am. I wake up to the sound
of a little voice asking to come into bed;
she can’t sleep alone anymore tonight.
She doesn’t know that it’s already morning,
to be fair, it is still dark outside. My sweet
little girl snuggles into place, taking my pillow, my covers,
my rest. Little knees start making their way
into my boney back and my soft sides. Gingerly, I attempt
to crawl out of bed, but I land on a leg and a foot and my cat
who I know is glaring at me in the darkness and stillness of 4 am.
I make my way to the shower to rinse off and start my day.
The morning goes as usual: sitting and staring off into space
when I should be moving on to the next step in a line of
thousands of daily to-dos.
Eyes: make-upt. Hair: pinned into place. Teeth: brushed
(no, I didn’t floss…but my turbo brush does say “built in flossers”).
Body: clothed. Stomach: fed.
Husband: doing all of the other to-dos
(he does these so much better than me).
Daughter: still asleep in my bed.
At work, life is a buzz. Students walking busily
to and from classes. Teachers rushing to the office
to make those copies they thought were already finished.
Some say hello as they pass; some keep their eyes shifted
down on their feet or their phones. My gait is quick as I clip
clop my way to my room. I am welcomed by stacks of books
and papers and yesterday’s lecture notes still scribbled on the
board. Soon my students will arrive and the
day fun will really begin.
By the bell — we submit to increments of minutes and hours, not
nearly enough to get it all done,
but our valiant attempts won’t be thwarted.
The words of great writers fill my room so full it might burst:
Shakespeare, Bronte, Alexie, Tennyson, Morrison, Woolf,
Douglass, Conrad, Gilman, Wiesel, Rhys,
Dante, Dumas, Fitzgerald, Achebe, Plath,
the list goes on and on. Papers scribed with insights, ponderings,
persuasions, and questions ubiquitously cross my desk.
Taking part in the global discussion of humanity is
noble but tiring. I go home so rich with love
and fulfillment that the pockets
of my heart overflow.
My day ends as it began, at my other home with those who share
my last name. We eat. We clean. We talk. We laugh.
We love. We sleep – until that little voice
wakes me again so she can be wrapped in my blankets
and my arms.