Matins

Five a.m., the time of day when morning lingers in its own dreaming.

The house wraps around me

in the still dark, draws its breath

from sleeping children in muted rooms.

The children are fair-haired, sacred,

as mysterious as weeping icons.

Even in their sleep, they have a singing presence

meaning more than we can guess.

I walk barefoot and aboriginal through the house,

knowing my place in the scheme of things,

brewing coffee, throwing clothes in to wash,

working against entropy's inexorable

journeying from order to disorder,

finally pausing at a window, listening

to the sudden silence

of dawn arriving against

a distant rise of barn and trees.

The house sighs, changed in the loss of night.

Beyond, one bird trembling in silvered light

begins to sing.

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