When I was a child my mother tucked me in at bed time, stirred the fire, kissed me, said “Good night,” and left.
But I was not alone.
The flames in the fireplace filled my room with magic light. As they leapt up the chimney the shadows of the dresser, the clock on the mantelpiece, and the toys at the end of my bed leapt with them.
They swooped across the ceiling and jumped from wall to wall.
When a new flame spurted from the fire the warm black shapes went wild for a moment until they settled, and the fire subsided, and the shadows moved slowly, slowly, as if they were tired, and my eyes closed, and I fell asleep.
Born in London, England, Dane Gordon served in the Royal Navy during World War II. He has degrees in history, theology, and philosophy from Cambridge and London Universities, England and from the University of Rochester, USA. He is an emeritus professor of philosophy from Rochester Institute of Technology, a retired Presbyterian minister, and a poet.
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