Breath on the glass like a tiny fog.
Fingers curling in my lap.
I brush the condensation away
And watch your progress across the field.
Your spine is stiff with cold or pride —
I don’t know which.
My eyes are wide,
Despite the morning sun.
The sky today is white as paper
And free of clouds.
So many mornings I have done this
Despite my love of sleep
And hate of cold mornings.
The sound of the coffee pot rumbling to life
Shakes me awake
My mother’s humming voice slicing
Through feathers of dreams
As she prepares your breakfast.
Every day the same as before —
You take your satchel and thermos
Shrug yourself into your heavy overcoat
The one with patches on the elbows
And the mothball smell that never quite goes away
Despite repeated washings.
A pat on the forehead and the usual admonitions:
Listen to your mother.
Do your school work.
Don’t forget your chores.
The school work and chores inevitably done,
The day packaged and put away
Long before your steps lead you back home again.