Tracking

I can see your damp body print in silhouette on the bath towel,
and the tooth marks you left on the tight cap of the new 
toothpaste tube.
     A couple of loose hairs lie tangled in the hairbrush.
     Damp feet mopped up the light rain of last night’s dust 
     on the wood floors and apparently navigated 
     around littered baby toys 
     before turning left towards the what appears to be 
a nesting area...  

On hands and knees now, the light just right
     I see the subtle depressions of your feet on the carpet,
          the fibers slowly standing back 
          to their usual upright position.
Here, the tracks meet those of a much smaller creature.
I see ghosts of small lips and handprints 
     on the sliding glass mirror
     and in it’s reflection, 
          a stuffed white rabbit,
          over-loved and re-restitched, 
     wrapped in a blanket by small, uncoordinated fingers.

Drips of drying milk lead back to a feeding area 
and the scattered remains of finger-painted oatmeal...
          still luke-warm.
     I trail the crumbs of cold pumpkin pie on the counter
     to the well-worn “one minute” button on the microwave
     which begins your morning ritual 
     with a digital “beep.”
I smell fresh coffee on a breeze from the west.

Hot on the trail, 
     I follow my intuition through a slightly swaying side door. 
No less conspicuous than a stick snapped in the wilderness 
silencing sparrows,
     I hear the hum of a clothes dryer stop 
     with the creaking of its door.
Slowly I stalk,
          fox walking, 
          hawk-eyed, 
          ears perked up like a deer,
          into the garage and-
                 There I find you...
                 throwing a warm soft towel, 
                 hot and fluffy from the dryer 
                 over our daughter’s head... 
          our hysterically laughing coyote pup 
     with those five-toed muddy tracks that grow too quickly.  
Funny that you should think it’s time for us to clean the house.
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