Morning is a game they play. It is the crossroads of grumpy and hijinks, and there are shoes to be tied, teeth to be brushed, and a number of things that really should have been done the night before, some of them by all of us. It is the kind of chaos that lends itself to immediate cursing and a lifetime of fond, sweet memories. It starts too early and it ends on a dime.
Sometimes there are too many metaphors to bother.
The boys are sleeping now, between mornings and the shadow of them, and the world is quiet save the sound of frogs in the stream outside. The stream was dry just days ago and the frogs were dehydrated and forgotten like so many sea-monkeys on the cusp of greatness—covered in leaves, dust, warts and all. It rained for a minute on a day already forgotten, and now the frogs are awake and alive and they want us to know.
We know. We know.
All the while the boys sleep on and the world spins constant around them. There are late night projects, glasses of whiskey, promises kept and those unfulfilled. Their breath is a bass line beneath the songs of the night and my keyboard types out like a broken-down piano. Every sound is clear and haunting, every breath a melody. The notes between notes are soft and silent. They linger until the moon fades, then the sounds are soon to follow. The frogs will be gone before the dawn breaks, and possibly forever.
Morning is a game they play. The boys will win every single time.
Illustration by Arnold Lobel