Bedtime reading

Pearl fast asleep within minutes, I slip stealthily

down the hall to Aviva’s room to find her reading a new book,

the latest in a lifetime of Amazon packages from my father,

and waiting for me. She hands over the headlamp as I scooch

under cozy covers, affixing the strap tightly around my head

where like a phylactery it illuminates our shared text.

We read five chapters in a row, one for each night till

our next bedtime together. When Zelly’s mother tells her,

“It’s not your fault,” looking directly into her daughter’s eyes,

the book becomes a kind of prayer. Light touch. Lights out.

***

If your daughter is anything like my daughter, I highly recommend reading Erica Perl’s new book together: When Life Gives You O.J.

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