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Nightlight.
Dad’s head is a cannonball
poised over the pool.
I’ve been asked to watch him.
He’s peering down into the filter well,
hands—whole body—shaking
as he pulls out bits of grass.
 
Yesterday, down at the dock,
he pulled $200 out of his pocket
(it took forever)
and offered it to me.
Earlier, he’d handed Anna
a baggie full of cash.
“What’s this for?” she’d asked.
“You trade it for goods,” he said.
 
And last night he shuffled
out to the pump house
while I was cross-legged on a chair
watching the sunset.
“Where’s your nightlight?” he asked.
“My nightlight?”
“Right there,” he said, touching
one shaky finger to my third eye.
Holy Moly.
 
He’s finished with the pool filter now
and hasn’t fallen in.
I look away don’t look to see
him crawl to the diving board,
use it to get up.
At least, I don’t want him to see me look,
though seeing (he knows this)
is the one thing he’s still teaching me to do.
 
S. Robbins from Pilgrimage, Meditations on the Svadhisthana Chakra

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