As the great beast snores his belly can be seen rising
right from the entrance of his hideout
if you’re close enough.
Above, the trees breathe with him.
The forest’s heart and hands,
though he sleeps he’s on guard for any child who finds it
in the long grass.
His old friend is still here, but changed
and scared into the underground, lamplight eyes
stretched wide in fear.
He waits to go back to the forest,
but this is where the humans are.
Right now, their tasks are too far apart
to take their night trips together.
The cat instead sends sparks from the linked weaving tracks
and sees them in the tight dark. Stars,
stars that Totoro will see tonight.