Pavement, poem by Heather Sullivan

We walked to the bakery on the corner, you
and I hand in hand. I’d promised you a cookie,

and myself a chance to clear my head from the
workday strife. My longer commute used to

give me time to rage against the dying of the
light long before I walked through the front

door, enough time to morph back into mama,
the woman who draws bats with you and

theorizes when is too late for Play-Doh. Less
a transition time now, I am sooner home to you

and to the encompassing sense that all is right
with the world when your hair falls in front of

your eyes and you spin in front of me on the
sidewalk. We heard noises in the trees and made

up a Halloween song, and I told you not to be
scared of the dark, but to love it the way I used

to before I came to anticipate evil and the way it
tastes in the back of your throat. I want you to

own your freedom for all time, pause the hour
hand and not look back behind you. Leave that

to me for now, let them bite at my heels and nose
my flesh. You run ahead, and spin again for mama.

sullivanHeather A. Sullivan‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Open Letters Monthly, Free State Review, Yellow Chair Review and Ygdrasil. She is an editor at Live Nude Poems and maintains a blog at She lives with her family, including the FCAC Proprietor, in Revere, MA.

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