Last night, as I slipped through the darkness to my crying son
I was stopped, in the hallway
between our bedroom and theirs,
By the acrid smell of burnt electricity.
I peered in at my daughter, sleeping peacefully
And walked in for my son, fussing sleepily.
My heart squeezed with fear.
I comforted and nursed my son
Then crawled under the blankets.
But sleep would not come.
Fiery, terrifying images crowded my mind
Stealing my sleep, filching my peace.
The thought of that smell,
Hanging like an ominous curtain between my children and me
Exposed the bare wires of my deepest fears,
Those consuming, burning fears that
Choke me with the smoky haze of what ifs.
At dawn we woke up, safe,
And I spent the morning hours on my deck
With my husband and children
Breathing in the rain-washed air, listening to the rustle of leaves,
Sipping coffee and reading poetry
As if I had nothing better to do.
Because really, I didn’t.