Nothing Is Lost

She would emerge from nightmares,
inch by inch, in the kitchen.  Perched
on a wooden chair, she hugs her knees.
She is five, wearing a flannel gown
down to her ankles, with blue pistols
scattered over it, for killing mice at night,
her brother said.

                               The window lights up
like an altar.  With her eyes half closed,
she looks at the particles of dust turning
inside the light, landing on the floor,
painted warm chestnut, as Mother
insisted.

                    The coal stove still unlit,
she hears the breathing of the house,
its sunlit silence rising and falling,
a fly stirring, brushing its wings,
buzzing out of the dark corner.

                                                          I see her
making room among the shadows,
and remember: nothing is lost
until we miss it.