Lifting the sheet and summer blanket high
While the morning air struggles to billow them underneath
As they sink onto the bedframe,
When you taught a five-year-old gangly girl
Who adored you so and loved your hugs swallowing hurt and worry
Into your arms strengthened by years of cleaning
And softened by years of cooking and tasting for seven
And rounded by the weight of bringing five into this world
(A labor you called sweet and easy),
How to make a bed just so,
Smoothing out the lines to a crisp and fresh clean.
Now she allows the sheet to wrinkle and the blanket to hold stains,
A reminder that one year you are gone,
As her childhood and your protective love.
The author with her mom when Carol visited to say goodbye. Saturday, 21 June 2014. Falls Church, Virginia.
“That is all I ask.”
Lurking beneath politeness,
Words hiding venom.
Tico Cizauskas. Reno, Nevada. Wednesday, 7 November 2012.
The cat and I sit
One room over, while you sleep.
Morning breaks sweetly.
Black bee sting lingers,
Spreading its poison over
And over again.
And family dysfunction
And friends’ critical words.
A small girl cowers,
From vicious attacks,
While the enemies
Grow drunk in their ecstasy
That she is broken.
My heart is breaking
and my brother holds my hand
Letting go of fear, anger
Praying in Center