Hair crumpled, eyes half-closed,
You lie with one arm thrown aside
And one arm idling where
Two buttons on your gown have sprung.
One crinkled sock lies on the floor
Beside its dangling mate; close by
The pillow teeters like a fugitive
On the edge of disaster,
Its slip thrown up and off and over
Like a careless sleeve.
Your unsocked foot, stuck out,
Just dares me to grab hold...
You pull away, still caught
In that half-world of dreams and sleep
And tangled blankets wrapped
Around yourself. You are all
Knees and arms and elbows now,
A grumpy, unshelled hermit crab
That scuttles back into the sand.
All right then, sleep!
I'll tiptoe back and tease
The morning out myself, just see!
Downstairs again, I'll hold my breath
And listen for that painful squeak
You hope that I won't hear -
The second floorboard on your way
From bedroom door to stairs -
And wait in ambush as you steal
From step to anxious step.
Aside the kitchen doorway you'll
Snatch up your trailing sash
And wrap it around your waist again,
And peek in past the door,
Not find me there,
And turn around...
Too late, you'll feel yourself caught up
Into a swing of arms about your waist,
Your sash undone again, your hair
Brushed back across your face,
Held up, held close against my own,
Into a glide and swirl across the floor
Into the light...
Dear, sweet, gentle, silly Alice!
You are this early morning's dream
Gone out in tenderness across your cheek,
Hair crumpled, eyes half-opened,
Shoulders in that soft half-shrug
Of February's light.