The sun inches through the beige blinds escorted by the crow of the big black rooster you named Fairy
I roll over and see your small body snuggled into my pale blue blanket
Again, you snuck in during the night.
Your hair is damp with the sweat of a small child’s restless sleep
Your eyelashes lay long and dark on your porcelain smooth flushed cheeks.
I wake you and your eyes are full of the night’s dreams.
You missing teeth smile reaches me and you
…….. stretch and reach to hug me while apologizing for your midnight pilgrimage into my bed.
You tell me of your dreams about white tigers, while I am half focused and thinking of our…
I rush you downstairs to prepare your food…
We crack open the brown speckled eggs laid by the red and white chickens
And fry them sizzling in melted butter
Toast pops up and you sing “one peanut butter, one raspberry jam, with butter!”
You beg for coffee, but I remind you that you are only six.
The reminder is ignored, and the moment my back is turned you drink my coffee
I pace back and forth getting your leopard print backpack put together, remembering your lunch money
You talk about white tigers, and wanting to go to the zoo
I hush you and explain that Im old and can’t think, do and listen at the same time
Your laughter at me reminds me of a chipmunk, high pitched and it hurts my ears
Eventually I stop and look at you sitting in the chair with your feet dangling
And your torrent of words begins again
I pause and appear to listen but mostly Im trying to capture you like a photograph
In this moment
This day that you will grow out of
Your ordinary brown hair glistening with golden highlights from the diffused morning light
a shirt with a rabbit wearing a bowtie,
eyes shining with wide eyed excitement about saving white tigers.
The moment passes and I run to grab your white shoes with glittery hearts and wedge them on your feet.
Together we walk down the driveway, the gravel hurting my feet in my soft soled slippers.
You are skipping at my side like a puppy on a leash
Excited to see your friends, your teacher, to move on with your life
You start our game “I love you more than you love me!”
I tell you that is impossible because I love you infinity
But you say you love me a billion infinities
The diesel fumed bus swallows you up and I see your small head showing in your window at seat number 9
You wave and blow a kiss.
I watch the bus drive down the street and you keep looking to make sure Im watching
Till we can’t see each other any longer.