Rebecca in the Shadows

Rebecca in the Shadows

My daughter stretches out, half sunken in leaves,
the backyard’s plush quilt of dark, jagged fragments.
The princess on her mattress, she feels nothing
alien beneath her, spreading her arms
to forge an angel’s imprint in the fall.

I’m spying from the kitchen. She couldn’t hear me
if I called through storm windows that won’t open
or rapped the double pane. She’s taking in
woodpeckers overhead, squirrels dropping acorns,
a cardinal chanting on a basketball hoop.
She grows still, motionless in mottled light,
looking above her at the patchwork sky
that shimmers like a dome enclosing her.

The treehouse she won’t play in adds its shadow
to the shifty camouflage of fading daylight.
Now I can’t find her, so I have to look
harder for anything that moves in near-darkness:
branch an opossum climbs, grass the wind ruffles.
If I go outside, she might be gone already.