See, this is how it works:
You have something brewing in the back of your mind.
Maybe it was a dream, or that thing
caught between waking and dream,
where the whole world unmakes sense and reorders
to make perfect sense.
All you have to do is capture it.
But then the morning starts in earnest,
While that thing fades, slips back into the water of sleep.
The high school kid has not gotten out of bed in the dark.
He forgot again to set his alarm, so
you avoid tripping over swirling dueling cats.
Your spouse groans that you’ve woken him again.
Your feet and balance aren’t quite working yet, but you manage
to stay upright, righting the boat with your hand trailing along the hall’s wall.
You open his door into more darkness, cannot even see his bed from here,
through bleary eyes, just the red glow of the numbers on his clock.
You call, “get up, you forgot to set your alarm again.”
He stirs and groans. “Time to hustle.”
You turn, make your way back down the hall, past the youngest’s room,
hoping you haven’t disturbed her dreams, and that she hasn’t peed the bed again,
other hand to the wall, and get back into bed, try to recapture.
Dip a fishing net deep back in,
but it comes up only with the weight of water, then nothing.
The bathroom light and fan blare on, the door slams.
So much for that thing.
Then the day really begins.
Spouse has grumbled way to shower,
You are getting up to auto brewed coffee, you hope.
Waking the little one, who does not want you to dress her,
She wants Grandma, abandons you, and you think,
as you choose clothes to toss to Grandma,
that just maybe, with some coffee,
that thing will resurface.
You descend the stairs, and the air cools,
still need to dual zone the house.
Upstairs is a sauna, someone turned off the ceiling fan in the living room.
No wonder you were suffocating last night.
The cats, are noisily down the stairs underfoot, little rhythms of fur
like waves on the shore disturbing the sand around your feet.
Coffee, there is the coffee, yes it brewed.
Relief, but first the cats are wanting food, and the waffle for the little one
needs to find its way to the toaster.
Then I sit briefly with my coffee,
between the college tuition that is due
before the eldest freaks out again,
and the day in front of me,
because just maybe if a miracle doesn’t happen,
if the financial pieces don’t puzzle themselves into place in the next three days,
he will not be able to register for his classes.
Sure enough, a few hours later the frantic texting starts again.
But for now, I have my coffee.
The high schooler has boarded his bus.
The little is coming downstairs with Daddy.
Grandma is stirring for her day.
The laundry needs to be done, and after brushing the little’s tangles out,
there I am, thinking of laundry, of money, of making miracles happen,
as I ascend the stairs to shower.
Sometimes that thing comes back in the shower, but I am still thinking of tuition,
of what pants I can wear, how long will I have to myself
before grandma comes back from her morning exercises.
I try to quiet my mind,
dive back into the deep of my mind,
the wonder, the blue, the night’s long lost thing.
But it does not resurface with the water running over my face,
rinsing shampoo out of my hair.
Then the house is all quiet, just me and my noisy brain.
I try again, to find the quiet in myself, but it’s never long enough to find that thing.
And I can still feel it, know it’s just out of view.
A mermaid, whose hair teasingly swirls
just out of the deepest blue, below the surface.
I try again to find that thing.