Reasons to live

The children. They snore and cry out in the night. I get up and rearrange their bedding, turn out lights left on. I drink water, shift dirty plates in the sink to make room under the tap. I let the cat out and sometimes stand freezing looking up at the night sky for movement. I piss outside, tired and craving sleep. The house has contracted with the night, the furniture cold and still without the children running, bouncing, falling. I tai chi walk past the baby’s room in my undies. I breathe into my belly. I am the tiger in the grass. Look left, now right and through my bedroom door. Without the children, I would have slept a deep, deep sleep. The night sky would have moved above me. Whatever flared there would have lit and faded without me.

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