On a warm humid night an old woman walks on squeaky floorboards, passing open windows, the moon watching down.
Sleep eludes her in this quiet house with its good bones and memories keeping watch over her shoulder. She stands on shaky tip toe, pulling a box down from a high closet shelf. She sits on her bed and opens that box, spreads photos on the bedspread, spreads her heart out right there on the cotton while the moon watches down.
Her fingers pull the dog-eared corner of a baby picture. And as she smoothes the years and dust from its surface her heart catches in her throat and she turns her head expecting to see that cradle and that babe asleep in the corner, right there under her moon watching.
The picture is so vivid she smells his skin, his breath, as though 60 years have not passed, as if she might just need to nurse that babe she can feel sleeping in the corner. Her head is full of cobwebs now but the photograph remembers-fills in each missing piece otherwise lost to time.
So she clutches that photograph to her breast, her heart and lays her head on the pillow; remembers when she slept with that baby and drank in his warmth and dreams while that same moon was watching down. Those tired years melt together in memory as warm as sun-baked earth and she counts his eyelashes in that picture, each one a blessing still. Her prayers drifts up on this humid summer night. The night where she cradles this tiny treasure with the windows open, the moon watching down.
Image: our sweet baby james, 10 months