Mom kissed

by Aleza Freeman

There was a time every sunrise
brought promise, and the sunset
a tucking-in, snug and warm

compact and satisfying,
like a freshly-wrapped burrito
filled with all the fixings,

except covered in a red,
slightly tattered quilted blanket
instead of a flour tortilla

the always elusive monsters fled
out from under the bed, at the smack
of mom’s magic kisses.

But lately I can’t stop shivering,
no matter how many layers of blankets
I burrow beneath

the eye of the winter storm glares
out from inside my mind, burning a hole
in my temple, letting in all the cold air,

the monsters wear parkas and snow boots,
but I’m caught making snow angels in
only my slippers and robe,

I struggle at daylight with brain freeze,
throbbing bruises formed from sharp,
broken icicles, longing to be mom kissed.

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