The moonlight shone mightily last night. My daughter and her friend made a bed beside the large living room window and lay watching firefires through the screen. They were hot, satiated after a day of soccer and lake swimming, roasting marshmallows outside over a fire.
In the evening, a breeze flipped the leaves upside down, a sure sign of a rainstorm coming in. Reading The Little Red Chairs upstairs with the windows and balcony door open wide, the frogs and owls sang. I listened for the little girls to quiet, but they kept whispering, and I heard them laughing as they played cards by flashlight. Later, they ran up the stairs, enormously excited as the teenage sister had snagged a mouse in the live trap, and could they, please, they begged, hands folded beneath their chins, drive the mouse down the road to find a new house in a field?
We were at that point in the night where I wasn’t sure whether anyone would sleep at all, but the night was so magically alive, just brilliant with moonbeams, and the little girls were so excited at this mouse adventure, that the older sister of course took them along, too. Why not?
Later, when the thunderstorm broke, I walked around the house with the lightning flashing, the girls curled motionlessly in sleep, and I quietly closed the windows over their pillows. In the morning, sleepy-eyed, wrapped in the blankets against the cool after-storm temperature, they didn’t recall a drop of that midnight storm.
…The garden is very still,It is dazed with moonlight,Contented with perfume,Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies….