The dachshund started twitching
early, her too-long claws bump-bump-
bumping my butt – Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
after laying peaceably behind me for six
delicious hours – bump-bump wake up!
We have no dog door.
Her legs are
this need to pee at dawn.
And so I lift the dachshund from my bed,
pad slowly down the stairs, my head
awakening more quickly than
my body whose knee joints protest
weakly. I hold the rail, hear
my partner rising, too.
The call of dawn is strong in my house today.
The outside door clicks and clicks
again. Dog sighs. And the child
— the child! — tosses off her blankets just as I
settle back into bed with the dachshund tucked in snugly,
paws facing the other way. The sun is not yet up but I hear
the telltale click of my daughter’s light
switch and know without looking that she
has put her glasses on again and sits now
giddily, greedily in her pink butterfly
chair, a hardback book open in her lap,
entering the world of Percy Jackson
(Perseus) while I knock on the doors of dreamland.
I know I should send her back to bed.
I steady my breath, sinking
slowly towards sleep when the orange cat
jumps onto my bed, tickles my face with his
whiskers, nudges my head with his head,
and I put my hand out for him.
He licks my palm. There is a soft
silence here. He licks me once more.
Then he bites.
A small nip.
I pull my hand back
under the blanket.
a quick, staccato sound.
Only once. Once only.
It must be morning now.
National Poetry Writing Month is here! 30 poems in 30 days. Will you join me?