Photo © 2014 Stephanie Parsley
At the foot of my bed lies the sleeping cat, neither curled nor stretched, just gently curved, head resting on paws.
On the floor beside me lies the sleeping, sighing, elderly dog, paws twitching, twitching, breaths short, then longer, pausing, then starting again. To my left lies my sleeping husband, chest already steadily rising and falling after the week of commuting and work. Across the hall sleeps my sweaty daughter, hair smelling of dust, tired from the day of play, tantrums, and talking (so much talking), clutching her stuffed Minnie Mouse beneath her still, little arm.
The cat at my feet, on the white quilt with colorful squares—she is as sweet in her sleep as if she were my own child, sleeping.
My teenager down the hall, stretched on the couch with her homework and crackers and baby carrots scattered—she has left sweetness behind for a time, embodying beauty, occasional grace, frequent slovenliness, and annoyance too, at me.
But oh, the cat, how precious she is, her paws clasped before her, eyes closed, as in prayer, sleeping.
© 2014 Stephanie Parsley