After dark, I like you best:
Day fades to gray,
Moonlit fingers paint stripes across your bed, your face.
I tiptoe in and rest a palm across your back
to feel you breathe—
up and down, the rise and fall;
I lean in close to breathe the sweet clean milk of you,
to feel the warmth of life
flowing in and out, in and out as you dream.
And I smile—serene, content—
This is my sunset.
When you’re asleep, I like you best.
At day’s first light, I like you best:
Dawn brings a gentle scratching,
the swish-swish of chubby elbows and knees and button nose
scrabbling against the sheets.
Then one little grunt, and soon another;
soft coos and squeals crescendo to a chorus
of joyful babbles to salute the day—
my alarm clock.
I shuffle in,
eyes bleary, all-over weary, heart warming—
and peek around the doorframe.
Two bright chipmunk eyes, two black buttons
peer up at me between the slats.
Eyes twinkle, cheeks crinkle, nose wrinkles;
rosebud lips send fireworks sparkling across the morning—
This is my sunrise.
When you’re awake, I like you best.
From good-morning sunrise to lullaby sunset
and every hour in between;
from your first cry to my last breath,
until the echo of us fades, our souls’ footprints blow away—
that’s when I like you best.