This Easter Morning

by Paul Hooker

Dawn is, I think, an hour away,

and my astygmatic vision leads me to suspect—or hope—

that morning’s sentinel is still asleep,

as I resolve soon again to be. The evening’s vigil

was long and late, and I am unconvinced that I yet desire

release from sleep’s embrace.

But my stirring is the sign he awaits:

day has begun; can breakfast be far behind? So he leaps

between us, four paws kneading covers and flesh beneath,

clammy nostrils finding inconvenient loci of exploration,

and this morning’s peculiar song of whines and near-barks signaling

that, appearances notwithstanding, night is over.

Is this how life begins? My groggy steps

trail behind him as he bounds down the hall and through the den

to the porch door, tail oscillating so as to stir a breath of breeze.

Open, he beckons, wordless, panting,

eager to see life arise, revived at long last

from death’s near cousin.

I pause,

and loosening the last fingers of slumber’s grip,

wonder what lies beyond the frame of wood and glass,

whether last evening’s renunciations and renewals will transform us

now that we are on the far side of font and table,

while it is still dark, early on this first day of the week.

Together, we roll aside the stone that separates the dead from the risen,

to see where resurrection will lead us.