by Robert Rinehart
often at night, with scent
of geraniums heavy and sweet,
like a necklace of flowered cloves
protecting your house—
a house your husband built,
that house of hope—I listen
to these pulses: the teasing heater
shifting from tick to hum, the girls
rustling in their beds, moaning in
dreams, a settling of haunches, of boards
& stairs & click clock, your reassuring
tiny snorfling, so peaceful.
who study such things say
that we actually sleep lighter
as we age—from body
worry. I know different, though:
we have finally come
to see what is vital,
and we want to bathe
in its life waters until
the moment we die, aware.
Robert Rinehart makes his home on the west coast of the North Island in Aotearoa/New Zealand. He’s a former swim coach and professor of sport sociology who grew up in Northern California. In addition to a PhD from U of Illinois, he holds a masters in creative writing from CSU, Sacramento.