Sunday mornings we walk around our house
collecting the turtles and frogs that have slipped in
during the week, while we worked too hard
to attend to such ordinary chores

and while we gather them we sing, and while we sing
mourning doves line up on the gardenia bushes outside
and look in at us, and listen; and while
we sing, our children sleep deeply, growing
fur and vivid senses

inside their bodies, in some other fragile world
that will vanish as soon as we wake them, which makes it
all the more precious and necessary

and so we sing softly, across their dreaming bodies,
of happiness we haven’t ever really known
but want to make possible for them, our children,

at least while they’re sleeping, by singing these songs
whose words we make up as we sing, and whose melodies
we compose like the wind composes in trees,
simply by moving our bodies.

Michael Hettich’s most recent books of poetry are Swimmer Dreams and Flock and Shadow. A new chapbook, Many Loves, was published in 2007. He lives in Miami.