Moses Removed His Shoes

By Dayna Patterson

You slip off your sandals
to enter the quiet sanctuary    of the room
where our children sleep
bend down to hear their breath
rearrange the crazy angles    of their limbs
blanket them    again
sweeping sweaty hair from their faces

You rest your hand    on the doorframe
slip on your sandals
wearing only     night garments
the ones with holes
in the right sleeve
and the left thigh
and a look of thoughtfulness

You perform this ritual
each night before bed      It must be
your prayer    you who have not prayed in so long
entrance     into the holy of holies
your bush ablaze on Mount Sinai
their small faces glow
envelope you in their wake

About Dayna Patterson

Dayna Patterson is the editor of Psaltery & Lyre. She received the Dialogue Award for Poetic Excellence for her poem “Eloher,” which won first place in the “A Mother Here” Art & Poetry Contest. Her chapbooks, Loose Threads and Mothering, are available from Flutter Press. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, Charles, and their two daughters.

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