Poem from FINDING REAL GROUND
CHILDREN DREAM IN METAPHORS
Children never dream in similes. Nothing’s
ever like a bear or troll- real foaming jaws
on flame-eyed monsters lurk below their beds.
Trapped beneath stampedes of nightmares, children
never dream their limbs are just like magic wands
or ray guns, let them fly like falcons, run like wind.
When dreaming stops, children wail for real moms
or dads, not another stuffed koala, muffled
reassurance “It’s okay- go back to sleepy”
But if a parent doesn’t come, they clutch
their blanket, scuttle down the hall, monster
snapping at their heels, collapse in tears
and oiled thumbs inside your safe-as-sunrise bed.