"when children sleep"
by Mark Vogel

A breeze shakes a pink hibiscus flush with sex—
in first light gulls squawk and glide over the dock
to shimmering blue water black. Fog thins
in the channel for a fisherman in a boat shooting past.
The shipyard rumbles across the way, banging monstrous
metal machine, though the family sleeps protected
inside the house, breathing refrigerated hissing air.

A wallet and a map wait patiently inside for
the day to stretch and expand in inevitable bright heat.
In just minutes the youngest will appear to seek
a lap, to curl into a leggy ball. In ticking eagerness
far away go-carts will race. Crows in the pines
will complain, then leave altogether
for the thick woods.

In last palpable velvet peace another grey layer
evaporates, and a thousand tiny crabs scurry
beneath the dock. On the glittering surface
two hundred feet out a moving fin appears—
a shining dolphin lingering, a secret dark universe
crafting its first last dawn work. Right on cue
the first heat wakes the skin to nagging

vacation itinerary dress and move—no more
stalling indefinitely on the dock before living
water waving now green, the next second blue,
then flashing white reflection. So deliberate
the blink as the dolphin rises again
fifty feet further on, accelerating fast
back to deep layered home.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

Copyright by Dallas Poets Community. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.