First Corny Tangerine Sunbeams

For You, Honey

The others in this house
sleep while the night
is erased. Give a name
to everything, even
this moment.
For what I hold in my hand
call it Coffee & Solemn.

My World’s Best Mom mug
warms my 5 a.m. face.
A dreamcatcher’s
wrapped in black and white yarn,
lopsided clay candlesticks and a bottle
of streaked sand art.
For families
sleeping everywhere
call this an A+ Diorama.

Parents lift washed-thin blankets
allowing warm baby skin
to feel a new day’s air.
For their lustful cries
eager to be born again
each morning, for the slight
imprint of size
their bodies leave behind
on smooth sheets
christen it Cry & Caress.

I wrap it around me
this last covered
moment of the skies.
My afghan hides me as I lean back
sleepyhead. For all the sizes
we’ve tried on, washed
bleached tumbled dried
for all clothing fallen gracefully
to the floor, call this fabric
Cotton & Wool.

Such willing surrender
of what covers us.
For the shorn of sheep falling
bare skin baptized into dry air
for our own sloughing off
of dead cells, a multitude
of microscopic stars
trailing behind us as we move
through space, reveal it
as Ashes and Dust.

Here now – the sun
tenderly lifts the quilt
which crazies our dreams.
The dark pulls away
like angel wings. So there it goes
wish it, name this dark thought
then stretch and wiggle your toes
and say hello (go ahead!) (hi!)
to the first corny
tangerine sunbeams.

Oil painting/tissue paper assemblage  and poem by Mary MacGowan, an earlier version published in Licking River Review, Vol.30, 1998-99