Your tired climb gets slower as you near the top, I hear your steps,
And the light of the leaf game you left on mute is lighting the side of my face.
We muttered quiet prayers and a weak goodnight.
In this tight cluttered space where we sit and much has passed through
You are loved.
I bathed him today in a basin, one of the many small unplanned differences
Claiming us, me, you and him, in a basin,
I can’t bring myself to do it the other way.
And he hates the water and soap, and he bears it and latches on to my breast,
To make peace.
The basin is a small remnant maybe of something from before, ours was blue and
She bathed us outside in the sun, my sister and me, small feet.
And when he carries the bathwater out to the deck I ask myself if it is possible to
Ache for something you didn’t really get to hold for very long.
She dropped me off from the library and after my usual big sisterly questions
She tells me that she is going back again, to the sun and basins,
And I think I understand it.
The blue basin in the sun, there was a mad kitten that chased her tail while
The water splashed and we laughed at her. The black lunatic kitten.
I telephoned her to let her know that I was tired, that I wanted to be with him, really with him. Every day to read, to play and then the basin and then to bring him close to me, and let him latch and drift and dream.
But life had become the tide that comes in and goes out at will.
And I am left splashing and laughing then crying on the side of the sea,
She told me it was the same, that you give what you give, and you do what you have to do, and you always feel that it is not enough. But what I do I do for him, And how I fight, I fight for him.
And when he gets taller and weans out of our tight spaces I dream that mingled in
With the residue memory of a basin, and the lights from the leaf game,
Your tired steps, and my laughing, splashing and crying,
Will be the sound of muttered prayers, and weak goodnights, and a distinct feeling
That he is loved.