A spray of embers hisses
as logs break apart in the fireplace,
as our daughter touches
the tip of her tongue to her lip,
draws stick figure forms for father, mother,
children. One child wears wings—
could it be an angel? She doesn’t know
the story of Icarus. It’s a good thing
our son claims the red crayon
for Luke Skywalker slashing at Snaggletooth—
there’s blood everywhere. How I love
these winter afternoons in our bedroom,
dark by four, the children settled
around the low table. Each has a story,
intricate as myth, and in each
sun bruises an azure sky. Their skin,
scrubbed clean in the bath, takes on the fire’s
orange cast. The tic of crayons
dropped in a cookie tin.
That waxy smell.
Wendy Mnookin's book of poems, To Get Here, was
recently published by BOA Editions. Her poetry has won prizes from several
journals including The Comstock Review, Kansas Quarterly, and Poet.
She has also won a poetry fellowship in 1999 from the National Endowment
for the Arts. Wendy Mnookin lives in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.