by Brady Peterson

Hush, a mother to her child—
a cold room—don’t cry. Morning
will come, I promise. Hush, now.
The wild of night, the shadow creatures
under the bed or hiding in the closet,
she knows them.

Hold me, kiss me, tell me stories
about when you were young like me,
when your father hunted bears and sang
songs to his dogs. When you kissed
a boy for the first time, and the men
at the store teased you.

When men gather at the store
in the dark morning for coffee and talk
in sentences about the weather and baseball.
The glow of the plant furnace—muscle
and bone—hands calloused from handling

Their voices gone—hush, be still,
morning will come. The sun will show
itself again above the tree line.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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