The Fan

The Fan

I awaken early and without stirring, I barely open my eyes
It is a late summer morning
And there you are beside me, sleeping softly
Your red hair fanned out on the pillow

You breathe gently, unaware I see you
I feel your warmth
I drink in your beauty
I remember other times and places
When I have seen
Your red hair fanned out on the pillow

Earliest days, in your parents’ house
Morning light through their curtains
Stealing time together while they were away
Later, a tiny old house on an island
A cast-iron bed with squeaky springs
Embroidered pillowcases
A faint smell of wood smoke and
Your red hair fanned out on the pillow

A visit to Eastern Washington
Picking fruit, visiting a farm where I once lived
Driving along the Columbia River
In the summer heat
A tired but happy sleep that night
The trip to California
Camping at Russian Gulch
A tick bite, thin sleeping bags, but
Your red hair fanned out on the pillow

Back in Vancouver
A bed on a floor
And breakfast in bed
Remembering the night before
Then our new house,
Empty that first November night
Old rock and roll on that cheap radio
(Music to paint by)
Then sleep on another bed on another floor and
Your red hair fanned out on the pillow

The first of our children
Days old
Feedings throughout the night
Unexpected wonder that all this could happen
Another child and then another
I’m so full of joy
And then your medical crisis
The hospital, our worried families and friends and
Your red hair fanned out on the pillow

Your recovery, your emerging power
(My weaknesses and errors in judgment)
Surviving all that and growing again
Looking back over these years
My love for you never-ending
I must be the luckiest guy in the world
You sleeping gently beside me
Your red hair fanned out on the pillow

Happy Anniversary

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