saturday mornings

She smoothes out the Saturday paper

as if pressing a favourite shirt,

runs her finger along the ink, then licks it. Some things

I’ll never understand. How the shup-shup

of her slippers cancels out those 6am garbage trucks,

the desperation of alarm clocks, and the hum

of a refrigerator we’d hoped to replace years ago,

before we found ourselves mid-lease, in debt, laid-off.

Matching towels and sheets our consolation

for those weeks we didn’t spend in Thailand

on the beach. Our friends, who went, mailing us postcards,

asking to stay with us when they got

home. The sound of her slippers on hardwood

bringing me tea, an anecdote from the everyday,

something as simple as gesture, the way she

tests the bath water before stepping in.