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.