She is asleep, probably,
in the car: one of the things
I swore I’d never do,
in those lovely pregnant days
when I was a perfect parent,
before each moment of quiet
grew precious as wine, or sugar,
before she outgrew the bucket seat,
and woke each time I tried to carry her inside.
I should go check on her. When she wakes,
she’ll be upset, alone and in her carseat,
though safe enough in the driveway,
cool day and her daddy’s in the barn right there,
probably too far to hear her if she cries,
but he’d notice if an unmarked van pulled up
to steal her away. Probably.
But the house is so still and silent.
It’s hard to explain the quality of stillness
that is the absence of a high-strung toddler,
the absence of the endless why, the mama now,
the questing hands, half-swallowed puzzle pieces,
half-chewed sandwiches, half-finished thoughts,
always interrupted, always cut short. “I’m sorry,”
I say every time I’m on the phone, because even
if I do finish a sentence, it was probably about how she’s
pooping on the potty, and probably you don’t care. “It’s hard
to have a conversation in this life.”
Outside, the crocuses keep coming up,
despite her determination to yank out every one.
The daffodils are numerous to the point of safety,
and their bulbs are deeper-set, besides.
And then suddenly, my milk lets down.
I think she is awake.