there is a graciousness to love

when the light strikes with slant-certain i see us 50 years from now, happy, grey, grooved, dentures, dress on backwards and lipstick on crooked and happy

the slant that finds me worn on a day so awful: a day when the dishwasher crusts dirt onto glass, a day when the car won’t start because the battery wore out when i failed to shut the door properly after son burned his hand on the woodstove. burned. his. hand. a day when there seems no redemption but

it comes in the stumble of an eight-year-old marriage, a marriage graduating kindergarten, a marriage learning to share and to do its homework and to play together at recess

“i was thinking this morning,” he stammers and i cry over crusted dishes and ask, “is it something i did? why are so many things going wrong?”

“i was thinking…”

and i’m barely listening for the grime

“how much i love you. i really do.”

then he steps outside and the door shuts and i finally hear him.

and i don’t need to cry anymore. all i need to do is fill the sink with suds and scrub the glass clean because he loves me

and i can do all things through him who gives men on earth to hug us whole

the light slants 50-year-old rays
across our son’s face

(a certain kind of gracious love)

shared with one shot poetry