I want a room of forest with an adjustable sun
where I can take you when you’re eight.
locked for your early peaceful years
like my grandfather’s crawlspace, the attics in your books
a place to give you at the…. at the time.

it will never be right, my sweet first –
you’ll always be too young to have my nightmares.

but it will come, I fear,
and I do not know how many midnights I will spend
with your tiny shaking shoulders in my arms
and how many mornings looking at you,
crying too,
patching the scratches from your monsters;
their branchthorn teeth, their low gravel growl
the way the dark sprawls even beyond their reach
(oh, I remember).
I can’t clear your mind, my darling
but I can help you learn the difference
between a shadow and a shape.

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