Giving the Light

amywink October 27th, 2017

Giving the Light
For Alex, one of the beautiful souls I have known.

Putting Alex to bed
the lamp beside
him glows reassurance.
Though he fears his need for light,
this small, articulate boy hopes
it is okay, at three,
to be so reassured in darkness.
He questions his brother’s meaning,
asking, more than stating,
“I sleep with the light on
because I’m a scaredy-cat,”
glancing at me because the lamp
does not speak to this fear.

For this he needs a grown-up,
someone with knowledge of such names
and their accuracy,
more familiar with the world,
acquainted with whatever may
be out there, beyond his knowing.
“No,” I reply, to what he as really asked,
“you’re just afraid because you do not
know what is in the dark.”

He looks right into me.
“Are you afraid of the dark?”

How could he know what he had asked?
Right now, in my own darkness,
I am so afraid
and there is no lamp beside me,
no grownup to ask if
it is okay, at thirty, to need the light.

Truthfully, I reply, “Yes,
sometimes, because I do not know.”
and because he may know an answer for himself,
I ask, “What is in the dark?”
Quiet, he sits with his blanket, pondering
and then,
in a voice as beautiful as a photograph
he speaks,

Soft and certain, he gives me
“the moon. . . . and the stars.”

(1995)

One Response to “Giving the Light”

  1. Brendaon 28 Oct 2017 at 8:36 am

    I remember seeing that kind of wisdom in the eyes of a little girl named Amy (not so) long ago!

    Love seeing it through her words when I can’t see her eyes.

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