Night Rhythm

After the day at work and the second day of school,
the fussing in the car transforming into stories
and picking up fried chicken for the mountaintop
potluck where we welcomed Shabbat with a howl,
climbing trees and scampering over steep rocks;

after the long drive home and the song
she asked me to play again called “New Beginnings”
and shuttling between rooms during the long bedtime,
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and chapter four
of Ruby Lavender, before finally giving in to sleep–

now is when I drop into my old night rhythm
of rearranging magnets, removing old pictures,
wiping the table grit from today’s blind taste-tests,
trading dirty dishes for clean ones, drinking seltzer
from the bottle, foraging for brownie crumbs,

tossing rags down basement stairs, making tidy towers
of unpaid bills and school forms, cracking
my neck right then left, entering the night
song of grasshopper wings, a gentle breeze
taking its last swig of summer–

until finally breath lengthens as I collect bits of grass
from the kitchen floor and let the day of rest begin
in darkness, dropping into a source I can just barely see,
like the willow silhouette just beyond that border
between here and next door.

I offer thanks. Expect nothing more.

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