We stand beyond the reach of lights,
surrounded by home’s benevolent dark,
the night’s fragrance of wood and fields,
faint sounds of nature from all sides,
the spangled firmament recalling my dreams
of dancing planets and spinning stars.
For my granddaughter, the black unknown
is brimming with dangers and threats, evil doers
and malevolent beasts, nightmares
she was taught to fear, unfamiliar with awe.
I want to take her hand but only say
“look up.” We stand on silenced gravel
exhaling tiny clouds and wait
for the constellations to clarify.