it’s almost midnight
in a few minutes I’ll pick up a book
and head up to bed
I usually read a book of poems before sleep
tonight it will be the Collected Poems of Lenore Kandel
when I get into bed
my side of the sheets will be cold
I’ll cuddle with my sleeping wife for a moment
it is a sleeping ritual, she’ll wake, smile, kiss me
and then curl into my back
as I turn the pages, read those poems

in the morning, she’ll be up for an hour
before she wakes me to shower
I’ll drive her to work
and then back home
where I will make the bed, do the dishes
cook the supper
and then wait for that moment
that comes late at night
where she wakes up again, smiles
loves me

Michael Dennis