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Father, daughter. Side by side at bedtime. Stories are told; prayers are said, under a common blanket. Cradled by his chest, her preschool eyes are weighted with the day’s discoveries. He sighs.
“I have to write a poem.”
“What’s a poem?”
He smiles. “A poem is…” He tries to capture it. “A poem is a written bunch of feelings.”
“Like ‘awake’/ ‘asleep’? She laughs and mimics both.
“I’ll let you read some I’ve written.”
“You’ve wrote a lot?”
“Quite a few. A poem is a written thing that tries to…”
“Is that you?” Her toes touch his leg.
“You’re very warm,” she says as his chest pillows her head and she enters the hazy contentment of new sleep. Microscopic flecks of inexplicable perfection.
the ceiling fan hums
gently blowing the curtains
that block out the night