Third Day—New Parents

Every night it’s the same.
We tuck you into the bed
across from ours
and we watch you rock
yourself to sleep, the comfort
you give yourself that we
can’t provide.  It’s only
8:30 or so, and we’re adults,
not ready to sleep.  We
huddle in the far corner
by a small lamp, reading,
doing the crossword in
The China Daily which often
is missing clues.  It’s our
outlet to the world, slim and
censored as it is, since we’ve
decided that no TV, even
China TV, can compete with
the current story of our lives:
Man from rural Illinois meets
woman from Chicago.  They
spend two decades
together, then decide to
adopt a child by flying to the
other side of the globe.
You’re that child, across the
room.  You’re the energy that
will change the course of
our lives, and we’re that energy
for you.   Now you’re sleeping,
peacefully we hope.  We nibble
on the chocolates left by
housekeeping.  An hour
goes by.  And then another.
Every night it’s the same.

—Sylvia Arthur, Eau Claire, WI