Fumbling open the patio doors at four a.m.
Gasping for air after a sweaty nightmare
About swaddling blankets and teeming beetles,
The pre-dawn chill enfolds me in misty closeness,
Beckons me back to bed with the promise of new.
Watching the cat dabble her soft white paw
In the water bowl before she bends her head to drink.
Does she believe she’s a jungle cat establishing safety before
The vulnerability of lapping, closing her eyes
To the freshness, the cool quenching?
Sinking into the leather chair, legs lotused,
Bowing my head above the fragrant steam,
Inhaling promise from the dark depths of the blue mug
Clutched in my sleepy fingers
Needing the ritual more than the rush.
Crumbling, leathery leaves crunch underfoot.
Electric red geraniums greet me,
Defiantly bright in early sunlight.
Nightly frosts neither blacken nor bend them.
Just strengthen their resolve to wait for snow.
I hope they last ‘til spring.
Kendra Whitfield lives and writes on the southern edge of the northern boreal forest. When not writing, she can be found basking in sunbeams on the back deck or swimming laps at the local pool. Her poetry appears in The Raven Review, The Rye Whiskey Review and in the anthology, We Were Not Alone (Community Building Art Works, November, 2021).