Wax Paper by Jude Goodwin
I wake to the groan of your rising,
your morning rendezvous
with the edge of the bed,
head in hand. On your back our wedding quilt
has left a mark. I close my eyes, roll
them up and up until they ache,
until the shower
(eager) opens its wet hot throat for you.
I watch your shape concealed
by steam and dream
of turquoise, a radio
playing toothpaste jingles while someone's mother
butters 20 slices of white bread and wraps them in wax
paper. The coffee starts to perk. I think about years,
how they can make a place thicken, spread
their patina over
and over the wood. When you and the smell
of your soaps and slathering
foams return to our room, I don't move.
Let the darkness fake sleep,
let the bright bathroom be love. You leave,
of course. I slide over
to your pillow, lie in the crease of you.
Somewhere, the baby
stirs in her crib.
Of the 12 poems shortlisted, this one alone seems to have a positive take on domesticity and the day-to dayness of life. The woman is luxuriating in simply turning over in bed and watching her man shower and ready himself. There is a confident celebratory, sensuous note and the poem's finish is lovely. "I slide over to your pillow, lie in the crease of you" is wonderful. Well done! Micheal O'Siadhail, September 2005