steeped in the ailing remnants of night,
prepared to accept the first blush of sunrise
over earthtone puffs of frosty sage
I stand guard over my towheaded boy,
still sleeping and mumbling of firetrucks and excavators.
I'm armed only with a cup of rapidly cooling coffee,
prepared to accept his first contagious grins
that come when he opens sky-colored eyes.
I sigh and allow the great wall inside of me
to lift with a creak to admit the memories and thoughts
that insist upon haunting me like rude houseguests,
and feel them trickle into my once wonderfully sleep-numb brain,
simply too heavy to hold back for another hour.
My heart aches sweetly as I watch him
slumber in a koala bear-curl, clutching the tattered remains
of a formerly perfect, fluffy stuffed puppy
received at my perfect, pastel baby shower.
I marvel at the feelings in my heart that still reach me
through so many years of twisted scars and damage.
This child lives because I care for him.
I am reborn this morning as he unknowingly returns the favor,
even as he sleeps.
I live because he cares for me.