I heard it, called the child,

sitting up half in a dream.

I heard the years change!

All around his crib,

the noises that men make to celebrate

folded into outer midnight silence.

What did it sound like?

It was the plopping of a paper

bag, or the squiggling inside an

egg.  And on a milky breath he

slid obliquely back into his dream.


But all the next day, he walked

gently through the new year, not to

scratch or spoil it, and he wanted

to know from whom it had come, and

how, and why, and

could we ever have another one?