Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Another Morning

It is 6:38 in the morning
The middle of the week
We use the elevator for two floors
 because our young daughters like to push the buttons
The morning room is filling up with kids
Parents pass each other with simple nods of the head
  Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it is off to work we go
We give hugs and kisses
Set our five-year-old by the window
 we will wave goodbye to her in the parking lot
A normal weekday routine
   we head out the door

She stood there grabbing his hand
  pulling him up and back to the morning room
He has to tip-toe to keep up
   he has a mischievous grin on his face
She mumbles something about staying in the room
Her coat is a doll red from the weather of years
  Her frown reveals the weight of those storms

We have crossed paths during these mornings
She never smiles
  but today she glares at me as we pass
  I feel her snap judgment as I recognize my own

I turn for a second
 with a thousand darts ready to fire
Sarcastic apologies run through my head
 Sorry, we, my wife and I, do this together
 Sorry, my daughters smile at 6:30 in the morning
 Sorry, but we also have rough mornings
I turn away
 trying to buffer her gaze with my thoughts
 to shield my day from her judgment

The rest of the kids race to the mini van
I kiss my wife goodbye
We both wave to our daughter in the second story window
  and I walk toward my car
And there she is
 walking from the doors
 a hard set pace
 child free
 but with the same deep wrinkled frown
Our eyes meet again
  there is no nod

And as I reach for a dart
  I am suddenly filled with regret
I have never seen her smile
Today she walks to a car
  but I know we have passed her in the morning
  as she and her child walk
    even in the rain

I am not sorry for my family
or for the work I’ve done to reach this place
I am sorry I forgot the struggle
 I am sorry for the untold tragedies
 for the lost joy of children
Sorry for the storms that seem to rage
  no matter the season
  and last so long
  there is no rainbow at the end
And I am sorry I jumped to a snap judgment

By chance our cars face each other
 I nod a good morning

She does not nod back


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