At the Top of a Hill
By Hilary Sallick
At the top of a hill
in the middle of a city
Iím looking for the moon.
The sky is full of clouds,
giant interlocking bodies
with blue passageways
and soft openings,
the whole arc of them
I watch two little girls lie down,
side by side on this hill,
and on a count of three, roll,
expert hill-rollers until, suddenly traveling
sideways, they stop,
sit up right together in the green
end of summer, in the middle
of the hill, laughing.
Now three other children
are climbing up from below
where their father watches,
a hand shading his eyes.
Theyíre littler kids, giggling and hiding
in the tall grasses
at the top of the hill.
The dad, patient and out of breath,
is trudging up.
Why arenít you running? I tease him
and he answers
in a language I donít know.
The first two girls have been joined
by a boy, and theyíre hiding their slender bodies
behind even more slender trees, a game
of hidden eyes.
Nearby a mother is singing
to her baby, who sits on her own
on the grass, a new feat.
The children by one of the trees
are discussing how to climb it,
and the boy is speaking from a perch
in the low crook of a branch. The girls
want his place, but the problem is
how he can rise to the higher branches
from this one sure hold.
The grass is warm.
The clouds are tumbling apart
for the moon to float
Copyright © 2020 by Hilary Sallick.