Balloon

It is two o’clock in the morning.

That is what we are saying to one another,

As we move around the kitchen, collecting provisions,

A thermometer, a medicine dropper, a moment here,

Together, before we go back in, because they are sick,

Both boys, sick with colds and sleeping in our bed, sleeping,

In between us, like this, moving in their sleep to find it,

My husband’s chest, to wrap an arm around me, to kick

A leg into his stomach, or to find my cheek with a tiny hand.

This is the acrobatics of family, I think,

As my husband and I lay here, on our sides, hands cupped

Under our pillows, facing one another, each of us awake,

Our sleeping children between us, and our eyes locked,

Locked in this, what is, for once, a happy deadlock,

Happy here, in this moment, in this night, and in this family,

After we have been so locked in the war and what came after,

And we can’t talk because they are finally asleep, because

There is too much to say, because there is not enough.

So instead we just lay here, like this, their raspy breath

Between us, the soundtrack to our first dance in awhile.

And what I want to say to my husband is that,

That our happiness is this, the small moments,

The small moments no one else would know about,

The ones that are just ours and that we carry it,

Our happiness, in a balloon, a soft and tender balloon,

And that every time we blow more happiness into it,

Our balloon grows, enlarges, but softly and tenderly,

And how all we can do is hope.

All we can do is hope it will not burst.

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