I have slipped past a spinning wheel,
a butter churn and a large dog, to sit here
in the bentwood rocking chair beside your bed.
We must be the remains of Early Americans
who look out the windows at bare maple trees
and the sides of barns through slatted blinds.
Winter, snow, the sound of a car from time to time.,
four wheel drive, snow tyres whistling down the road.
The houses are close to the road in rural Vermont .
How else would we ever get out in winter.
The New York Times is spread across your chest,
Vermont Courier at your side, briefcase, papers.
Beside you, cards, letters, flowers, the telephone.
A glass of water is full, the straw has been renewed.
I wouldn’t dream of touching a thing as you sleep.
In the late afternoon, I field a phone call from a friend,
though I am to wake you if they call from the Court House.
State’s rights, Federal law, something about dentists.
The runners of my chair on the braided rug,
rocking, pad the sound of your bound breath.
I’m glad this chair was left so close to the bed.
I wouldn’t want to move the furniture to be close to you.
Our mother’s quilt is bunched a little at your feet,
but for the life of me, I leave it.