The First Time I Read Harry Potter To You

Monica Stevens-Kirby

It was a night I tucked you in, 

pink and soft, 

from your bath: 

lavender soap and a warm water rinse.

Your eyes, like planets, little Neptunes, 

swirling, round a solar system, 

captive of my face; 

looks we saved to tell each other; 

a hook to hang our secret secrets: 

silly words, 

sharing whispers, 

and I stood at the window to catch your dreams.

Mothers and daughters, 

soaking up tempers, 

flared by suns, 

fading out of 

upright outlines, 

forgotten now, 

flattened now, 

into rest and respite, now.

In easy form, 

your body gave 

to cool, crisp sheets: 

purple ponies. 

Your pillow melted 

with still-damp hair. 


At sundown, I threaded my arm 

around your neck, 

gone limp, and

settling with the hush of dusk.

The moon was high, 

but not yet full. 

I saw one star and made a wish.

A story of a wizard boy, 

his loyal friends, 

who hovered there, 

like the mobile from your infant nights: 


pulling our eyes, 

half-moons still, 

backlit by a galaxy, 

all ours for now, 

to grab or stare, 

to keep or stash in 

blanket forts, 

with books 

and stories 

(and flashlights.)

Transfixed, we were and hoped to be.

It wrapped us in a mist so sweet; 

so plain, it was that weaved us in; 

it was the loom that knit our hearts, 

happy cat and silver cradle, 

strings so tight and yoked-soft yarn, 

invisible cloak of quilted love and 

smells and memory.

It was ordinary, and it was magic: 

our balm of treatment trusted, true.

Your eyes, like planets, dripped to stars, 

sped up time and slowed me down, 

fast-falling through the atmosphere and 

freeing what I could not see; 

the faraway light I stopped to notice, 

lightyears after, 

when it reached me.

Monica Stevens-Kirby is a writer and artist from Georgia, where she practices psychotherapy and teaches at the University level. Her writing is published in various literary presses and academic journals. Monica finds combining images and words appealing. The notion of poems as paintings and vice versa tend to be her most thoughtful works.