A bat is born
Naked and blind and pale
His mother makes a pocket of her tail
And catches him. He clings to her long fur
By his thumbs and toes and teeth
And then the mother dances through the night
Doubling and looping, soaring, somersaulting
Her baby hangs on underneath
All night in happiness, she hunts and flies
Her high sharp cries
Like shining needle points of sound
Go out into the night and, echoing back,
Tell her what they have touched.
She hears how far it is, how big it is,
She lives by hearing
The mother eats the moths and gnats she catches
In fall flight; In full flight
The mother drinks the water of the pond
She skims across. Her baby drinks the milk she makes him
In moonlight or starlight, in mid-air
Their single shadow, printed on the moon
Of fluttering across the stars,
Whirls on all night; at daybreak
The tired mother flaps home to her rafter.
The others all are there
They hang themselves up by their toes,
They wrap themselves up by their brown wings.
Bunched upside-down, they sleep in air.
Their sharp ears, their sharp teeth, their quick sharp faces
Are dull and slow and mild.
All the bright day, as the mother sleeps,
She folds her wings about her sleeping child.
-Randall Jareli .