There was a sound
that pulled me
from under the heavy water of sleep.
The breathing of my partner
slow and regulated
was not it.
The undulating of her small body
in the crib as she sighed,
was not the sound.
The living room sentinel breathes silently,
in case of alarm he would stir, but has not.
A non sleeping presence in my house woke me.
Purposeful movement stirs me from the depths.
A twelve year old boy, moving silently as loud as an elephant.
It was not his intent to confirm his presence in my house.
It is not the job of a child to comfort the parent.
I called out his name. He answered. He flushed. He sneezed.
A smile formed as my third child cleared his throat.