Golden Gardens Park
February 22, 9:00 am
He can’t sleep again.
Instead, he stares for most of the night at that crack in the ceiling he needs to repair. Finally, when the the square green numbers say 4 and 3 and 9, he heaves out of bed and into clothes. Walks the five rooms, one by one, slowly, careful of the knee. Ends up in the kitchen and, before he knows how, coffee is made and poured into two cups. His: to be drunk. Slowly, like everything else. Hers: to sit until he empties the cup, stacks it in the drainer. Turns on the television, boob tube, she used to say, picking up her knitting, folding the clothes, hands always busy right until the end. Turns it off again.
The birds are mostly gone, now that her feeders are empty, but through the window he can make out a little one pecking hopefully in the dark, wet grass. He pushes himself up again, wonders how long has he been sitting here. Opens the side door, smells the first sweet spring smells over the coffee. Pulls the door closed behind him.
The blue tag, reminder of the broken hip that broke her, still hangs from the truck’s mirror. He’s not surprised when he ends up here, in the parking lot of the beach where they used to come together, her looking for water birds, calling them by name. He parks facing the dawn water, and, at last, sleeps. As he knew he would.
Or maybe I imagined all that,
as I huffed past his parked truck
on my morning walk.
Maybe he had just arrived
and was enjoying another day’s beginning,
mouth relaxed, eyes closed for a brief moment
against the glare of the water and the sky.