Still in Her Own Home


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.