There is always light.
Even when the child is sleeping
There is a moon-shaped night light.
But I remember the nights
The long, long ago nights,
When the fire had died down,
The cave mouth was filled with dogs,
And I was at the back, rock above me
That I knew only by feel.
No matter what terrors woke me in the night,
I couldn’t dissolve them with a beam of light.
Night was peremptory.
Cuddle me, I cried, and they did.
Sing to me, I begged, and they did.
Tell me a story, I pleaded, and they did.
Touch and voice. Stroke and hark
Welded our cave family in that dark.
Imagination flamed from spoken spark.
Each dawn that came we had survived.
So had our stories. So had our songs.
They vibrate in the sunlight like gongs.