Vanilla moon

by Phil Coleman

Bedtime, it’s always that book about a man
who climbs a very long ladder to draw down
the white sliver when his daughter can’t sleep.

The ceiling of dad’s spare room glows green with
plastic stars, comets and crescents. An IKEA mobile strings
a green planet, orange rings, yellow stars and a blue rocket.

Too young to count days, or read custody letters,
the gap between stays, he measures in moons –
watches it swell, like ice cream scraped by a spoon.