Saturday Poem / Midsummer, Vessel

My daughter’s wails wake me, / wails smiting the air from inside a dream, / a submerged place ...

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MIDSUMMER

A crack in night’s shell —

bright

yoke of dawn

 

VESSEL

My daughter’s wails wake me,

wails smiting the air from inside a dream,

a submerged place from which she has

 

only half risen. I find her, as usual,

wedged in the top right hand corner

of her crib, the corner closest to the door —

 

as if gravity has pulled her there,

toward the world outside —

and place my hand upon her

 

until that unknown fear recedes,

until her wails become heaving sobs,

until the sobs slowly subside

 

and her breath returns to the soft intake

and outtake of sleep.

Minutes later I hear her calling ‘Daddy, Daddy,’

 

her voice its usual imperative,

and find her standing in her crib, arms raised,

fully awake, ready for another day.

 

The empty glass on the windowsill at dawn,

full of air and possibility.

A shaft of light pouring in.

David Ades is an Australian poet now living in Squirrel Hill. A member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979, he has been widely published in Australia and the United States. His poetry collection Mapping the World was commended for the Fellowship of Australian Writers Anne Elder Award 2008.


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