In night comes man to mother
Stink: musk and supper
Turning in day the love-clown
Whittling an apple, nips me
To tummy, mules me on high round
The room – but night, he monster!
Shriek she, banshee, he banter
Almost to tears to touch
The spriting gifting clutch –
Night make him seedy lanterns
His hand out in chill
Contagion, and the teeth unwhite.
He smile – is that for me he such
A raggle and roar on mother?
The baby girl turns to watch:
With night’s Big Man come others,
All dripping from the stony sea
Tumid, bare and loamy
Like winter march in early wars
In the black glue.
She screeches – like those wheels
Turning nowhere to battle.
Up the hill to vesper goes Big Man Night
And turns away from Woman and Child.
Thus, our fear arisen takes shapes
And chatters; chimping time
Tunes the light to meaning full on lips
Mom explains, and Papa will tell.
By age six or seven, she will
Not know what she knows.