IN MY DREAMS
Sleep rarely came easy to me
so I made up stories
about how my father traveled
the world doing important work
and how one day, soon, he would
come back to find me.
My audience of stuffed animals,
crowded around me on the bed,
listened intently and never disagreed
with my expectation of his return.
My mother came before she went to bed
and tucked me in real tight,
Snug as a bug in a rug, she said
leaving me trapped beneath the crisp, cotton sheets
unable to run from the bad dreams ahead,
the nightmare that he came back
in the middle of the night not to stay,
but to steal me away from my mother, my grandmother
the only life and family
I had ever known
I’d wake up screaming
and my mother would run to me
but I could never tell her
I wanted him in my world.
I didn’t want to go into his.
@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
All Rights Reserved
It’s a fine line between dreams and nightmares…
That it is, indeed.
I agree with Mary Lee. I can only imagine how terrifying that would be. The last two lines in particular are so powerful. Well done.
Thank you. It was scary to want him but not want to leave my mom and I think I knew I couldn’t have both.
The unexpected turn — wow.
Thanks, Jama. I like “wow”s… 🙂
I wonder how many other children struggle with the same fear, of being taken away by the missing parent to a life totally unlike what they’re used to. THIS is why I really hope to see this become a book some day. It’s important for you to air your story, but it’s also vital for those young folks out there — or former kids like you — who may be facing the same fears and feelings of inadequacy, and they just need to learn that they’re not alone and they’re not the only one in the world going through something like this.
Thanks. I think a lot of kids have that same struggle, especially when you know the answer is one or the other and one of the choices is probably going to be a negative one.
I hope it will be a book. We’ll see. Cross your fingers for me.
It was hard to think about wanting to know him but not wanting my ordinary world to change.
Awesome. I can picture you talking to your animals…
tanita says 🙂
Wow. And when did you figure that out, I wonder? Those last two lines are powerful. It took me years to understand the panic attacks I had when my Dad would take a new way home… even taking a side street would have me in a cold sweat… I thought he was stealing me, and we weren’t going home.
Ironic how much I thought I wanted him, and yet truly didn’t.