That evening in the leaf pile,
My daughter told me that the sky was the surface of the sea,
And that the trees were many-tentacled,
And that we had to hide by the steps until they left.
The dangers lingered,
Impotent until imagined,
And waving ominous puckered arms,
And we shrieked as we ran
(Such fun to be afraid).
The creatures missed us in the shadows by the bench,
And we tumbled back into the foamy reef.
Perhaps the moon shimmered down
From a higher sky through oceans clear as air,
Or maybe it was phosphorus undulating through the waves.
Whatever it was that lit the deep,
We paddled on through auburn piles
And waded among the grasses, strewn like so much seaweed on our path.
And as we lay in leaves looking up
Speckled with brown and yellow schools of falling fish,
The deep, deep sky reflected us back
And we felt free
In the peaceful rush of the tide.
We saw and understood something
Of life and its mercies,
Leagues below the sky.