In my sleeping
After an exhausting day, I walk into Isaiah's room to say evening prayers. His boney back is before me and I think that his still form is curled in sleep. I lean over and sweep the long hair from his face. I see then his lightly freckled cheeks have become a trail for tears.
I climb in next to him and circle my arm around his skinny form. I begin to run my fingers through his hair, a familiar intimacy he never admits to enjoying. We lay there for awhile longer, a huddle of comfort as he continues to cry.
His courage grows as the tears slow and he begins in a broken voice to tell me about the dreams he has been seeing. "Do you remember when you and Dad were mad at me, and I didn't say I love you before I went to bed?" I don't remember. Perhaps it was a moment of impatience or frustration. Perhaps it was his own perception birthed from guilt. I encourage him to continue.
He tells me two different dreams that conclude with my death. Neither dream holds the remote possibility of truth as they include a black hole in our kitchen and zombies in the living room He is adamant on their link to reality.
I assure him of their impossibility.
He surprises me with his mature reasoning, "Yeah, but you could die."
True. . . aside from the zombies and black holes, I can't argue with him. . .or reassure him.
I choose the path of reality. "I could die. Everyone dies, but I hope that doesn't happen before you grow up." It seems an inadequate response, but one that includes neither argument or reassurance. It is truth, plain and unapologetic.
I think of his world without me. The loss of his familiarity with its routines and traditions. And I think of the truths I hold in my heart.
As with the setting sun
I say goodnight
intended not completely
but with this rising moon
my dreams awake
for you at least
Hush now and listen
Let the lullaby now soothe you
gather up the words
as you hold them to their truth
In the depth of all things me
in the midnight of my singing
though now I am asleep
My love song lives in you