jerked from sleep by a loud name – his – urgent
stumble down the hall, into her room.
– Dad, I had a nightmare, and he lifts the weight
of her growing body into a hug.
– Want me to sleep next to you, in the spare
bed? – Yeah. – Let’s go to the toilet first. – OK.
Carry her down the hall, and back, still sleepy,
– Want to tell me what the dream was? – Yes.
And there are good and bad lands; white-striped,
face-painted warriors milling on the far shore.
Mum is there too, defending. The narrow water
between good and evil is leapt, breached, and
none of it makes sense in a narrative way…
– Thanks for telling me … we’re going to go to
sleep now. Love you. – Mmm.
A single rustling turn; breathing, regular, quiet.
Nothing, then a bronze-shelled insect, closer,
along a vertical wall, closer in the pale tungsten
light, and he is awake again, facing his own