By Marian Glaser © January, 1996
When I awake and see you still sleeping beside me
my heart fills with happiness and love.
It’s almost enough, this feeling, to see
me through my day this moment of peace I want to get to the bottom of.
Downstairs kids are screaming, waiting for Mom to make toast,
scramble eggs, fry bacon, pour juice and make their school lunches.
They stop yelling and squabbling to eat, comparing breakfast unfavourably
to last night’s roast.
I have to hurry them and search for jackets, hats, mittens, books, homework. I sigh
with relief when I can shut the door behind my honey bunches.
There’s time to remember I love them, tug on my coat, shout
good-bye up the stairs, run for my bus, find a seat, sit,
sink into myself, savouring this minute’s aloneness. I doubt
that these strangers would see me, even if I foamed at the mouth and fell, had a fit.
At work I am hustled and harried, each crisis trivial to me, but
not to bosses, supervisors, fellow workers waiting
for a pink slip with their final cheques telling them to find a new rut.
It all feels like a modern variety of bull baiting.
Evenings are full of hungry children wanting food but not mine, wanting
to play, watch T.V., denying they have homework and refusing to go to bed.
When they were small I could pick them up. I did that until my panting
warned me those days were done. It left my face red.
Even the youngest and smallest could enter a world closed to me,
see life in a new way. They could scorn my beliefs, think themselves free to
establish new relations, to be
more fully themselves. I slid down that rocky path once. Gee,
I chose this love, home, work and belief. Why? Words are inadequate.
I could not make them see.
Back upstairs to sleep for four hours until Bob comes home after his job,
wishing our lives overlapped more. Now we’re both married and single.
I feel so alone without his help. There are times I could sob.
When he comes I want to hug him, knowing he’ll be too tired to kiss
and caress me until I tingle.