Ten steps from my howling daughter
I wait it out, as I have been
expressly told to
by the sleep-denied woman,
the artist formerly known as wife.
The first drink of the evening is poured,
but it will stay untouched unless this works.
The sky considers twilight, and goes there,
Children consider sleep, and go there,
So I listen outside the door
for the turning of your breath
that crests into a small suffering
I could end, but I let you
teach yourself to fall into peace,
to accept at this moment
less than the desired.
I know the other side of tears
is a valley where shields of trees
wield shade for you.
So may you sleep there.
Max Heinegg is a high school English teacher in Medford, MA. His poems are forthcoming from The Chiron Review, Nine Mile, and Structo (UK). He is also a songwriter whose records can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com