Sometimes when she sleeps, her face against the pillow (or sheet)
by David Bottoms
almost achieves an otherworldly peace.
Sometimes when the traffic and bother of the day dissolve
and her deeper self eases out, when sunlight edges
through curtains and drapes the bed, I know she's in another place,
a purer place, which perhaps doesn't include me,
though certainly includes love, which may include the possibility of me.
Sometimes then her face against the sheet (or pillow)
achieves (almost) an otherworldly calm, (do I dare say that?)
and glows (almost) as it glowed years ago
just after our daughter's head slipped through the birth canal.
I remember that wet sticky swirl of hair
turning slightly so the slick body might follow more easily,
and how the midwife or nurse or doctor (or someone)
laid an firm open hand under that head
and guided our child into the world.
When that hand laid our daughter on her mother's breast,
such a sigh followed, a long
exhausted breath, and (stunned) I saw in my wife's face
an ecstasy I knew I'd never (quite) see again.