going home

she fell through a cloud
and into the womb
a slice of sunlight caught in
the spokes of the wheel
he couldn¹t guess her destiny
but claimed her as his own
the brightness of her being
just a trick of the light—
her rays would keep him
warm for all his days
in the dawn of her fifth birthday
they raced to the beach
to feel the froth upon their feet
the sand clung to them as they
raced together over dunes
and into the waves laughing
and skipping and finally home
³oh daddy such fun we had²
at noon they ran to the river
with long weepy shadows
of willows on the pools
where they waded while
skipping stones and telling stories
beneath the shady tree
³oh daddy … ³ the reflection
of a sunbeam on the grass
and then in the slanting sunset
they climbed the ridge
to watch the western world
in flames and in the heat
their hearts were fused
an earth and sky embrace
down into the purple gloom
the final journey home
but in the darkness was
a stumbling and a falling and a
thudding and in the last and
faintest earthly breath
she held him in her arms
³oh daddy such fun we had²
and nothing but the wind
and the night and his
passage to the light

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