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The Simple Act of Waking Up

after Mary Oliver

When I look at the
black freckles on the
right side of my beloved’s
face it becomes

clear that I am here
doing what I was made
to do to behold to brush
the soft skin

with my hand to wake up
each morning with eyes
stayed on my wife
as though it were

a discipline a calling
a marriage intended to begin
and end in glory this is
the inexorable wheel

this is what Paul said Ireaneaus said
the glory of God
is a person fully alive
so why would I

do anything but lie there
for a moment or an hour
beside her body
at rest or my son

his delicate body asleep
his eyelids fallen upon
his curious mind wanting
so badly for his dad

to pay attention even
while he slumbers surely
I can offer such affection
such holiness
in the simple act of
waking up with eyes
that peer through the veil
of crust and fatigue

and everything else
we do not want
in our lives on our faces
in our poems


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