I sit at the kitchen counter,
you come and slide your arm
diagonally across my chest,
above my left arm and beneath my right
so now my head rests on the meat of your shoulder.
I curl my arm around yours and lay my hand at your elbow.
I feel my core release and you bear the weight of my torso now.
Your fingertips press into the flesh of my back and side in
large circular strokes. I am aware that I have neither
just birthed a baby nor have we just conceived one,
and yet here we are wrapped into each other,
wreathed, supporting and supported.
You’ve just come back from driving our oldest to rehearsal,
and our three young ones are gathered at the counter with me
dying eggs for Easter. I’ve no idea what has drawn you to me
in this moment, but I thank God for it, and I will come
to remember these sensations of release and letting go
as the moment I began to trust in the turnings of seasons.
Venus adorns the morning’s crescent,
a glowing diamond in this eastern sky,
while waves of clouds roll beneath
the moon’s waning,
this daily joining in,
a practiced participation,
these lonely dives beneath love’s
surface, breaking into rocks of selfishness
where gleaming bands of diamonds
speak about grace,
sparkling mercies rolling beneath
our smiles, countless gifts
adorning our waxing joy,
sparks of patience and deference
and gifts of active grace
rolling through this mysterious sky.
I look back through Novemember’s
just-hanging-on leaves, the negative space
of our promises to drive through Malabar’s
winding road, taking in October’s blasts of color.
The weeks have whipped by, the leaves ignoring my
requests to stay, to never fall away, and my melancholy
drips bitter without the sweet.
Then I see our love’s first fruits hanging
on you, lying on you like so many apples,
our children’s morning sweetness, their bodies’
hard softness, wild hair, pokey elbows,
squishy bellies and meaty feet. They grow
unconditionally from our branches, buds,
and blossoms. They grow their own stems and leaves
and seeds and develop their own autumn flavors.
We drop away when we are ripe
thankful for what we are
what we have
and what we miss.