We stood together, mother’s arm draped
over small shoulders for warmth,
breathless, ears buzzing with silence.
A spill of mercury moonlight cast crisp
shadows of aged oaks reaching down
to bathe in the silver-dewed grass.
Though unseen, I could picture them,
small white faces like halved apples,
gliding through darkness on vapor wings;
their presence revealed by unrepressed
chortles, like children huddled under
a blanket, giggling with joy in the late hour.
Soon their voices drift further away,
off to regale other mid night creatures
with strains of their singsong laughter.
He looks up at me, brilliant smile laced
with traces of enchantment lingering,
revealing the evening’s hidden story:
his own little apple face, and in his eyes
silent wings budding, waiting to carry him
quietly away to places I’ll not know,
leaving me to stand alone, breathless
in my own twilight, straining to remember
the sound of his childhood refrains.