The Awakening

I snuggle on top of

My husband —

His body temperature

Is warmer than mine,

So, as we both awoke

This morning

I wanted to lie there,

Embrace him, and

Feel his warmth

Dissipate the coldness

Of the morning air,

But Taylor was at his head

Hitting him with her paw,

And Bella squeezed

Her head

Under my arm.

We are a loving family —

My husband’s body, smooth

As silk —

Mine, covered with liver spots

And inexplicable growths —

But the girls’ coats are lovely

And comforting,

So we laugh in the darkness

On this October morning,

Never wanting to leave the embrace.



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Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko

Award-winning educator and published poet: A Consecration of the Wind, Fragmented Roots, and Souls Tilled Like Soil. Website: