5:39am You chat in babbles. I am knees up, beneath the blanket on the couch. The coffee maker clicks. I’m at the side of a mountain; the air is still.
I’ll jump or climb or tumble down; soon, not yet. The pause in your voice as it drifts across the rooms is only temporary. It’s adventure, to you. It’s exhaustion, to me.
Here they come, feet on the boards above-I’ll know who by the sound on the stairs.
I begin by remembering I’m not here just for me. Each corner of the house begins to unfold like a pop-up book, just as your cooing quiets. Different patterned thumps, unique as their fingerprint, sound the call of morning, of family, and of responsibility to each other.
It’s all romantic in a sense, until the dog vomits. Duty to one another extends beyond the preparation for perfection. Pull up the rug to wash and decide whether to be burdened by it or grateful. Either way, the book is unfolding into another day-another chance to decide.
By Melissa Lipnick
Written by Melissa Lipnick, a writer and artist in Cleveland, Ohio.