Here at the sidelines a very different game: the netball court stretches the range of the neighboring forest, down past the creek, Back along the street. In the pizzeria, mothers raise glasses of red wine to toast sport kids and fertility, imbibe themselves silly, their spouses drink beer. Winter retracts its tentacles to the mountain edge. In the waning frost, the cold ground folds into white starched walls. I follow swirling blue lights honing in on an H lighthouse island, some teenage girl tottering on a crutch knocks me into the revolving door, In the waiting room, football splays on big screen, a whistle blows like a train alert at a trail pass, A baby asleep on the faux-leather couch, her mother repacks an overnight bag. I wade down the corridor to find you alone in a barren room. A doctor parachutes in, her theater scrubs filled with air, a phone clipped to her ear, on the other side of the sliding door another mother settles her baby into a stroller. Then snowy strobes on a gray screen, this is it, doctor's pen circles a cloudy marble spiked-ball flail. These walls separate night air, distant pines, the oak lit up in the playground then the touch of a nurse's hand, a voice asking what faith I profess. I stare at your orchid face, this bud of 15 years I once soothed to sleep, I once walked to school, I once warned of boys. Where is that ball to hit my head, to wake the lioness to this nighttime game of life vs. death, to breathe fire to make day chase dark. Falcons still snatch farm chickens. Sekhmet's priestess drags a chair next to mine, takes my daughter's hand, flips through her prayer book, a whistle in her mouth.