Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Light Goes On

At 2:23 in the morning
a light goes on
and with the eyes and the grace of a newborn mole rat
I fumble with Delilah’s snaps as if I’m wearing mittens
so tired, so utterly incompetent
until I see her eyes are wide open
and she’s smiling at me like an old Buddhist monk.

At 2:23 on a Tuesday afternoon
a light goes on
between the tangle of maligned and misaligned synapses
and the brave, embattled heart
of a skeptical 5th grader
whose confidence is a Middle Eastern suburb:
why rebuild when the sky buzzes with menace day in and out?
Yet somehow she and I have planted an intrepid little garden in the rubble
and its inexplicable glow of newness and promise
shows her this can happen
And she does the rest.

At 2:23 on a Saturday
a light goes on
in the crawlway between
my minefield of failures and
your anxious house of cards.
And we again risk disaster, calamity, collapse
to glance sideways at one another in the middle
and remember
we are often mistaken about ourselves
but never about each other.
A deep certainty of brokenness, of wrongness
clears like smoke or settling dust
because you love me anyway
and I you
without pause or reservation
perhaps because we meet here most Saturdays
provided Hell gets chilly and both girls are asleep.

So, finally, after all
at 2:23 or 7:25 or 9:48
perhaps Delilah is deceptively wise
when she ignores the candy-colored plastic
and stares and stares
at the ceiling
at the light.

--By Mike Miller, for Emily Miller, 9-29-12

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