the way home.

We were squished together like sardines

in a dark blue hallway,

the linoleum lights giving a warm and tired glow

on our sweaty and tired faces.

Tiny feet beat down on the ground

causing the ringing of drums to spiral

down that black blue hallway.

Then there was me—

tall and wearing too many layers for fall,

straight hair pulled too tightly back in a ponytail,

my tiny fist clinging to my shiny black box of plastic

with the only numbers inside being my mother’s and the house.

 

When the bell rang, the children sprang free

from the confines of the brick school house,

grubby hands pushing and shoving,

tiny feet drumming on pavement

until they hit the grass and took off

running across the hills toward wired fencing.

We all sang when we crossed the wired fence,

our feet slowing to a walk

until our hands found our silver door knobs

and we were finally home.

 

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soft skin pulls me in.

soft skin that bends at my mercy.

unmarked, woven from the fibers

of your mother’s womb. fragile

like glass shards on beach sides;

deadly yet weak, the greatest paradox

to name. oh beauty, your face has dissolved

beneath mountains of fat, your cheeks rosy,

your glossy eyes shine with tears

once again.

hide in these covers, little one.

hide away from the cold of the world

and rest on your mother’s breast.