No Return

No Return

Halfway through night, the girl whimpers in her crib,

and from a dream of flying in bare branches, a woman

leaps from her bed without her robe and rushes to soothe

the places that cannot be soothed. Her dream wings

return to her scapulae. Her hands return to their flesh

and she presses them into the little girl’s back.

No longer bird, the mother re-enters her familiar scent,

part milk, part sleep, part sheet-warmed skin,

and from a nightmare, the girl inhales her way home again

without ever opening her eyes. Her breathing evens.

Her body stills. The mother remembers her wings.

She returns to her own bed, cold now, awake,

and her hands find her womb where the girl once flew.

She is nameless. Vaster. An amorphous is.

Out the window, bare branches bow to the wind.

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