by Susan Odgers, 06/30/2020, Traverse City, MI

Adult Category

Susan Odgers Adult

This morning, my day begins as it always has.

From a quilt covered queen size brass bed, I softly open my blue eyes. To my right side, I look upward at the wall with the tall, oak framed horizontal window.

The end of the green and white Roman shade is slightly ajar. Through the narrow vertical opening, I can see the sun slowly rising, revealing itself frame by frame, into a cloudless, spectacularly blue sky.

The top of the next door neighbor’s statuesque eastern white pine sways.
Soon, over-sized black crows perched atop our Victorian roof’s peak will caw to one another.

The smell of hazelnut coffee, automatically brewing on the kitchen counter, fills the house.

Still on my back, eyes closed, I gently, slowly stretch, mentally taking inventory of where my body feels young, old and somewhere in-between.

In a half-awake state, I orientate myself; listening for the dog stirring in her cushioned bed, her black Labrador retriever tail thumping against the worn wood floor. Olive, at 14 and a half, still wants out to patrol the yard.

Carefully, so as to not wake him, I place my hand on the small of my husband’s back, feeling, checking for his heart beat. Then I reach over and trace his white gold wedding band with my index finger. Nearly four decades ago, we’d had “And I you” engraved on the inside of our rings.

Still in bed, but now more awake, I quietly, reflexively, repeat to myself, the question.
The one I asked every morning, late this winter.
And again this spring.
Now, it’s summer.
Is the world, the one we knew before, still really out there?