Daybreak unravels sleep --
vague dreams move gradually
to the hard existence of the lamp
and the red numbers of her alarm clock.
In her familiar routine unexpected
encounters arise as she
drums up a chemistry with the day:
the breakfast plate she dries and puts away,
the bowl of shells she rearranges on the patio,
a robin reciting her a bird poem,
the irradiated roses obeying sunlight
on the rockery like saints.
She picks the pace, chooses not to think
about misery and suffering in the world
and remains spellbound by the long-held afternoon.
Nothing has changed by way of plentitude
from yesterday to today. Dinner hour,
she does the sign of the cross
around her heart. Come bedtime,
she closes her book and in a kind of procession,
holding her nightgown
above her ankles, she takes the stairs.
Before turning out the light
she sips from a glass of water—
the elixir of all that is given.