|Oct/Nov 2008 Poetry Special Feature|
Once, the cavalry spurred through this valley
and was gone, leaving the hills in echo.
So we tell the children, always demanding
stories before they'll close their eyes.
Afterwards, they stare into the dark, a peep-
show full of heroes and monsters. At last
they'll fall asleep connecting the dots
of stars, blueprints of new constellations—
the Phoenix, Thunderbird, the Hangman's Tree
with its single dry leaf. Under a heaven
that zings inaudibly with bat-song, will
they delve an earth that turns midnight
into myth? Or, when they wake again
to simple daylight, will they find there's
nobody there—no dark changeling,
their sweetest shiver-dreams undone?