20. As the poet…


As the poet sang, the child's cries grew softer, until finally they quieted completely. Soon, she was asleep.

The poet shook her head, and whispered, "It wasn't perfect. Not like she is."

The mathematician took the child gently from her arms and wrapped her in a soft blanket from his bag, saying softly, "She won't be perfect for long. No one is. But she did like your lullaby."

The poet smiled. "I suppose she did." She felt as if a great weight had been lifted off of her. Two of them, in fact.

"Let's go home now," he said, wrapping his arms around her.

The poet nodded, resting her head against his shoulder, the child cradled between them. There was nothing she wanted more than to be in her little house by the sea, with its solid boards that creaked when the wind whistles through them, the small rooms that filled with sunshine on sunny days and moonlight on cloudless nights. The poet even missed the roof which leaked a little rain. And more than anything else in the world right now, she longed for her bed, which was thankfully not made of gold.

"I think that's a splendid idea," the poet said. And moving very slowly and gently, they started off towards home.

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