When my daughter falls from her bed

it is death practicing its quick grab

and as always (so far) missing.

She’s too quick for you, quick quack

patty-whack, you’ll get no bone from her!

Social even in sleep, she doesn’t want

to lie down alone. Once a week

our dreams entangle, the sharp edges of hers—

those little cries—dig into me like the toenails

that unwittingly knead my calf. The dish

ran away with the spoon full of sugar

and now only me in her twin bed one night

in seven can make the medicine go down.

“We talked about the end of the world,”

she reports of Sunday School the week

her teacher missed. Joining the older kids

had been a revelation. I don’t care who you are,

God, I know there’s a girl worth saving

the world for, and her heart is an Achilles heel

held in my slippery hand. I don’t care whose

God you are, Man, I know canyons and rivers

and gnarled roots of dying trees worth

changing our ways for. And, God, I know

words and lines and books as beautiful

as my daughter’s faith, but none of them

is worth dying or killing for. That’s why

once a week I sleep scrunched with a light on,

so if she jerks awake from almost falling

she’ll see whose hands have grabbed her.