Take Me There
A Child’s Morning Music: The Opposite of a Lullaby
Last night’s dreams fade when that first
faint tinkle of silverware drifts upstairs.
Before the stray rays of sunlight filter through our bedroom curtains,
I hear the clink of forks and spoons
Precisely knowing the drawer where the spoons nestle.
More sounds drift upstairs: the predictable slide of plates
stacked, one on top of the other. Clank, rattle, clank.
Rhythmic and assuring,
I relish each and lie there motionless. Lulled by soothing sounds
of knowing someone is taking care of me.
Then the kettle’s sharp whistle. I imagine a tendril of steam.
I hear it lifted briskly off the stove. My parents don’t wake me or my sister.
But I’m already awake, savoring that early morning spell.
Sometimes I make a tent over my head with my sheets then it’s more secret. I’m invisible. Listening as more kitchen noises float up.
The bowls, a different pace, a distinct dense sound: clunk, clunk.
I see a small, nested tower. Slow and deliberate: teacups hang
on tiny gold hooks. Sounds of contentment: the tinny clang a pot
or pan lid. I hope my sister stays asleep. I want this time
all to myself. For it to never end.
Dad calls upstairs: “You girls up yet? Time to get up and Adam!”
For the longest time I didn’t understand what he meant, but never asked.
It wasn’t until I had children
I realized he was saying: “up and at ‘em!”
And how fleeting, how precious was the morning music of childhood.