A crack in night’s shell —
yoke of dawn
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.