A Note to My Wife

It is an ``off day'' as our daughter

would say - no school. I am home

with the children. This morning

we got up late, ate peanut butter

in bed, and read.

The sun is shining after days of rain,

leaves are cascading from trees,

covering the ground with a crunchy carpet

of brown and orange and red.

Our daughter and her friend

are talking about school, about math

and times tables and how they aren't

supposed to know yet that if you

multiply backwards you are dividing.

``I learned that early,'' her friend says.

As I wash the dishes,

I think there is little I can recall

that I learned early,

most things I learned quite late:

how to ask for help,

to say yes, or no, and mean it,

how to be a father,

and how to love.

Today, my spirits are buoyed

by what I know and do.

I am washing dishes

and feeling grateful:

for this moment,

this family,

and you.

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