Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bed Readin'

We rise in the morning and, like continents, split off to our separate work lives in separate cities in separate cars. Then, later in the evening, like South America and Africa of the very old days we come back together in bed, spooning for warmth and comfort. In the last few years, not every night but often enough, I've taken to reading a few poems while awaiting the continental shift. Recently, we've taken to reading poems to each other, not so much out of schmaltz but more out of a soothing salve to the hurries of the day. Billy Collins is the favorite, followed by Pablo Neruda and Rumi. My daughter, upon hearing what her parents are up to, wondered if we then dream in meter and rhyme. I can't remember if I do; my Ever Loving Wife dreams in Cinemascope with casts of thousands, scripts by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as directed by Michel Gondry, but I'm not sure if these dreams are spurred on by the pre-sleep readings.

It sure beats medication and I've found I feel less guilty as I put head to pillow knowing that a piece (or pieces) have been fully read, unlike the tomes stranded, half-read, in the Sargasso Sea around my side of the bed.

One of last night's poems was Days by Billy Collins

Each one is a gift, no doubt.
mysteriously placed in your waking hand
or set upon your forehead
moments before you open your eyes.

Today begins cold and bright,
the ground heavy with snow
and a thick masonry of ice,
the sun glinting off the turrets of clouds.

Through the calm eyes of the window
everything is in its place
but so precariously
this day might be resting somehow

on the one before it,
all the days of the past stacked high
like an impossible tower of dishes
entertainers used to build on stage.

No wonder you find yourself
perched on top of a tall ladder
hoping to add one more, Just another Wednesday,

you whisper,
then holding your breath,
place this cup on yesterday's saucer
without the slightest clink.

May your day be clink-less.


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