Soft Rise, Soft Fall

I hear her uncapping the night pills’ bottles.

I hear her putting the caps on.

I hear her pad-pad steps on the wooden floor,

Then onto the short carpet.

I feel her side of the bed drop.

She is in, pulling up the sheet, adjusting two pillows.

On her side, she falls asleep, her hip rising, falling.

Dawn.

I get out of bed.

I look at the hip’s rise, fall.

I leave the room, shut the bedroom door.

I come back – an hour spent – open the bedroom door,

And see her hip rise, fall.

***

My father said a neighbor was afraid to wake his wife.

He told my father that she had been sleeping longer than ever.

She had not made breakfast.

My father left summer chores and went to his house.

The wife was dead.

***

My uncle told me that a neighbor was afraid to wake his wife.

He told my uncle she had been sleeping a long time.

She had not milked the cow.

My uncle left his winter chores and went to his house.

The wife was dead.

***

I always look for the rise, fall of her hip.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late November, 2012

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Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene "Gene" Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners - when asked!

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