These Crisp Fall Evenings

This poem is sooooo old….I had to key it in to the computer. A broadside hangs in my mom’s bedroom in Abbey Country. I wrote this poem about my step-daughter when she was just five years old. She marries this weekend.  I publish this as part of her wedding celebration.  

These Crisp Fall Evenings

I untangle the sheets from my daughter’s tan legs

as her lungs rock her gently through dreams

she’ll deliver to me at breakfast.

I drape the dark blanket over her

to fight the early morning chill that

drives her to our bedroom door shivering.

And through the backlight of her nightlight

I feel my back shift to the slope of my mother’s.

I feel my shoulders sag with that same sleepiness.

I feel my eyes become hers—the way they gleamed

when I would sneak a sleepy glance at her

as she pulled the blanket over me

on crisp fall evenings like these.

My breath becomes the breath I used to hear

above me in the open window’s breeze.

And my feet become hers as I pad away—

sure that my daughter sleeps

sure that that the house breathes.

Carolyn Crane

1985

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