Poem of the Week, by Ed Skoog

Last night I woke up around 2 and lay in bed picturing the bag of French roast, the French press, the blue teakettle on the black stove, the heavy cream in the fridge, and how great it would be, come morning, to pour the coffee into the speckled enamel mug I stole from my daughter. Then I pictured that daughter, away at cimg_3336ollege, and how when I make coffee for her she sits quietly at the kitchen table, her head slightly bowed, silent, because she’s not a morning person, and how her black hair shines in the lamplight. Then I pictured the other daughter, who lives in Boston and whose room still smells like her, and I resisted the urge to get up and walk across the hall and open the door to her so I could breathe her in. Then I pictured the son who lives in Chicago and I remembered the collection of duct tape + cardboard swords he made when he was a little boy. And the other people I most love –the best friend, the painter, the sisters and brother and parents and friends– gathered together in my mind in the dark. All this is to say that when I read the poem below, it feels exactly like those middle of the night thoughts – that everything that matters is small and specific and enormous at the same time.

When
     – Ed Skoog

when you go
off to work
when you are
asleep in lamplight
when you take the baby
upstairs
midway through the movie
or have lost your
phone and ask
me to call it
or one of us
runs up to the store
or when I drink
too much and forget
myself
when deadlines
overwhelm
and you wake
searching the bed
for spreadsheets
when I shower after you
the water still hot

For more information on Ed Skoog, please click here.

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