My father

Rainer Maria & Summer & You

No matter how the day has gone
when it gets to be the time
for everyone to go to bed
to go their separate ways,
this is when the fear that has been always lurking
digs in its claws and,
like all of us,
will do anything to stay alive.

It brings me to my father’s shoulders,
riding high enough to touch the ceiling,
high enough to avoid any of the trouble of the normal day,
leaving them
so far
below.

Watching him go door to door,
checking locks and double checking locks,
keeping us safe,
never letting me touch the ground until the morning –
straight into bed,
with its magical sheets,
safer than a bomb shelter.

While everyone was running to leave
I knew what I had and clung tightly,
too tightly to let it breathe.

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