This morning, I pulled on my wool socks
Dug out of a box on the shelf, a hope in vain
To hamper the damp Oregon chill,
This ever-present, wet weight seeping in
Through my open window.
I fitted each foot into a sock,
A cloud of dust releasing from the heel,
And I saw hanging in the air the dirt of steps taken months ago
In that bright one-bedroom apartment
Carved out of an old house in New York
Where we made a married life –
Carpooled, cooked, cuddled, and cried,
And dared to tease some excitement into the doldrums
Of daily life.
We would hop in our bed that first winter, you and I,
And shriek at the cold slab of concrete under our backs
And feet, the stone tablet pillows, and I would beg
You to grab the wool socks from the bureau
On your side. The chilled wooden
Floorboards were not much colder than our bed,
But you made a show for me, the yelp
Like a dog’s when you got back under the covers.
Darling, I wanted you to know
I’m doing fine. I read until my eyes can’t see, I sleep until I can’t, and I write
Until the end. My professors seem to think it’s enough
But I know it’s never enough.
I wanted you to know
the song of the scrub jay. It’s a strange alarm clock
Compared to our robins at home.
I wanted you to know the morning coffee I make is not as good
As the lunchtime coffee we sipped from a shop, a shared prayer
To make it through the work day.
I wanted you to know upstairs neighbors
Walk on their heels here, too, and I wanted you to know
The bed is cold.