Who is committing suicide tonight?
Or why else was I aroused to stir my bed of four hours
To pace the halls, to the see the children safe asleep, as an “anxious mother full of anxious love”?
Hall lights greeted me like an ill-timed rooster, bright and brazen then as they would be twelve hours later. “If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning…”
But this is no curse, this wakefulness, this restlessness.
It bespeaks of a thinning skin, a Ghost, and a responsive heart.
Glad to be assured, I glided back. Not to bed, but to be aware beneath a desk lamp, on a leather chair.
A few short days, and I myself will be hovered over, will lay my head on living-room pillows with the properties of peaches, wet cornstarch, and alligator hide.
Then I’ll be inside the arms that taught these arms the embrace they now are known for by my friends.
There I’ll smell fresh bread, the must of a barren chimney, the clean hot steam of the dishwasher as he hums during his morning shower.
There I’ll be at once aware of both my roots and my new limbs, and will marvel how both grow together so that I will not topple.
So here, as a mist-swathed moon glances over her shoulder in reluctant farewell,
I wonder who first owned this stolen hour, and how I may return it with impunity.
"Oliver James," Fleet Foxes
Proverbs 27:14, NIV