Babysitting, Valentine’s Day

Photo: pasja1000. CC0/Public domain.

The child, exhausted by his sobbing, falls
slowly into dreams. The mother (a low, quiet
perfume) and the father (a thick, midnight
sweater) have long departed. The cats, equi-
distant from the couch, are curled around
themselves. I can barely hear the clock ticking
over the dull hum of the fridge. Somewhere
deep inside the walls, a furnace grumbles
from its slumber and breathes heat. The cats
roll, stretch their paws, and sigh. All around me
the world is sleeping while lovers are strolling,
arms entwined. I am alone, sitting in a room
of perfect stillness. I am blessed to be the one
who, in the midst of all this silence, has been
called to stand sentry, and bear witness.

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