After watching E.T. my daughter won’t sleep
alone; she can’t forget him nearly dead
in the stream, ill and struggling to breathe
in the hospital tent.
She climbs into our bed, pats her arm
around my hips as if I’m the one needing
comfort, like I did as a girl,
when my mother had to sleep on the cot
beside my twin bed, nights I couldn’t forget
the blood I glimpsed squirting from the Crusher’s
head on channel 18. Quietly the image
was quelled by her breathing presence, her snores
filling the room like some strange, merciful creature
keeping guard at Dream’s gate.