My marriage

My marriage

One thing I know is marriage.
My marriage, which dawns anew
every morning with the February light
filtering through half-open blinds. My eyes
are weighted, trying hard
to drag me back to sleep. “NOOOOOOO!”

Her toddler protest, not really a protest, a staunch
affirmation of her tiny place. I’m awake now,
awake enough. To hear your muffled response, quiet
words, between the open and close of the refrigerator door.

Your side of the bed is cold, you’ve been awake
for awhile. Since you heard the insistent voice,
“Da! Da! Da!” from my side to hers
leaving me warm to dream a few moments longer.
It’s been like this, you know, since she was small.
You getting up in the morning

with her. You get jelly-smeared fingers, diapered
protests, wet kisses. All to allow me
a few more moments, of unfettered sleep.

And when I awake like I did
today, from a slumber under soft down
with one foot out in the cold — I can hear,
you and she talking, muted, in unaffected
conversations …
And I know my marriage,
how it dawns anew.

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