Love them well, those little ones.
Love the mother they’ve known, the wife
they’ve grown accustomed to seeing you embrace.
You can’t shift gears when they leave
and expect they won’t pay a price.
Even forty-year-old children need to know
you are who you’ve always been.
If you are not, then who are they?
Such demons sleep under my pillow,
in sealed boxes, between the pages of books
I haven’t opened in decades.
I can’t escape the fangs and talons
Christmas cards and photo albums conceal;
the wounds that never heal,
yet take me by surprise.