The dog knows better
which way in the darkness to go
& pulls your sleepless son toward the edges
where the soft ivy grows.
Meanwhile your mother’s wandering
just a few miles away, looking for her purse,
her coat, her most comfortable shoes.
The need to leave affects you all.
You ask yourself, if I let go, what then?
Your son is missing, and
your mother’s already gone.
In the still-dark hours
the great horned owl probes.
The cotton sheet’s too chilly, the coverlet’s
too warm. You lie awake with one leg out,
alert to the shifting, how it records itself
by light. You keep
your eyelids closed. Though still you see
the cedar tree’s shadow, the dog
at the foot of your bed curled tight.