Michael Murphy

Perched on the edge of the bed, I am
marvelling in silence at our daughter
crashed out in your arms, milk-heavy, stoned
on butterfat and casein. Her quick breath
is a sheaf of smoke skittering down a field
overtaken by rain, a blurry ghost
we’re still learning to call our own.

I whisper her name. She opens her eyes
to starlight on the outskirts of a town
where black hills kneel and a sclerotic owl
brings an answer to the fieldmouse’s prayer.
And even as I speak, I know that she
will slip past whatever words we use
with a soft, as it were, exhalation.

© Michael Murphy 2002