A drawer you left open invited dead parents

to visit demanding that you tidy up. Or it may be

a promise unfulfilled or maybe the clue to a crime,

or a prompt to mend your ways and reform.

Suddenly, you hear your child say “there is no

one” in her sleep which you take personally

as if you had neglected her. A lapse of duty

an action not taken: have you failed her?

You close the drawer in her room and watch her

dream of being abandoned in an empty house.

You renew your vow, she’s all you’ve got.

Sit dry-docked by her bed, built like a boat

watch her bear away, tack, & turn back to you.