The Wake-Up

for Mary Esther

One bright brown eye peeks
out at the world, still dark
with the shade of mourning. She
is not sure whether it is

safe to throw off her cover,
come out to dance with
the uncertainty of day.
Life is like that

sometimes, on other days
the sun is blinding through
the Easter window of the room
she now shares with the man

who loves her. He smiles at
the shadows cast by life until
they back off, grins down
the throat of hard-luck

until it coughs up sunlight
and then he kisses
her forehead, says, “It’s all
right now, breakfast is ready.”