The Zero Days
By Orlando Ramirez
The kids have fallen asleep on the chaise lounge
Wrapped in towels, their bathing suits still wet.
It was a good party. A bounce house, a piñata,
A cake shaped like Spiderman, lots of presents,
And enough beer and carne asada for the uncles.
I am sitting, waiting, my feet in the warm water
Of the shallow end of the pool watching the wife
And her mother talk in the kitchen as they empty
The leftovers into resealable bags. Their laughter
Sounds thin, breakable, in the calm of the night.
There is a glow about them as they are framed
In the window. I want to hold the image, snap a
Picture, save it in a memory incorruptible to age
So I can conjure it when I need it, for when the
Zero days come, and they will, I know that for sure.
If there was a way to keep them all in this minute,
I would make sure they have those things that
Seem so necessary right now. But I am just one
Man and it is best I keep the darkness to myself,
Better the kids sleep full of dreams this warm night.