The Lighthouse
by Liz Rosenberg

I want to live among the big, bell-like and moving things
with purple beach pea flowers opening
and closing, day into night the beam
casting across the foam.

Summer stars and Roman candles have drowned
themselves hissing down against the black
and gold-lit sea, washing with sailors' caps
at the last thin curve of the Cape, the Light
a pulse of safety when a child
awakens, feels car headlights rake
ceiling and bed, the emptiness of space,

and crosses to the window and looks out.
Then daybreak to the lighthouse swings,
goes steadily across the wall --
a blinking owl at the windowpane,
dragging the mirrored blackness out,
bringing a shining seaweed twig or flowering wave to shore.

I want to live like that,
to be a great and watchful eye
that sends all its light out and takes nothing back.

from Light-Gathering Poems, edited by Liz Rosenberg, Henry Holt, 2000
Winner of the 2001 Lee Bennett Hopkins Award for Children's Poetry