Night

The only sounds right now are the clacking of these keys under my fingers and the ticking clock on the wall above my head. Every so often a rustle of bedsheets or a cough, barely audible, break the soft hum of this sleeping house. My ears are ringing with all the un-noise, still processing the crush and cacophony of the day. Laundry lies in piles around me on the floor, folded and sorted into teetering stacks. My shoulders, covered in the shiny streaks of a baby’s cold, are slowly lowering from their taut spot, up ’round my jawline where the tension lives, but they won’t reach true rest until my head is on its pillow and the night’s dreams have begun. Mentally I make the list of what must be done before sleep: bottles, lunch, brush teeth, wash face, lay out clothes. Kiss my children, each of them warm and clear-faced and tucked in to their unconscious. Feel my way through a dark room to the side of the bed where a familiar indention remains from the night before. And then slide down deep into covers smooth, sighing as I drift away, falling, falling into the place that holds me under until I float back up to the top once more.

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