from a bed, dried on the vine

shelter our young ones from the onslaught of instincts gone awry

hide them under covers, let them clutch fabric with tight paw grip, peaking out, waiting for us to leave, staying still when we, invariably, come back in

they wait

for us to forget

we’re the ones who tucked them in

when will they know the coast is clear

that presents are under the tree

and it’s safe to come out

feigned surprise guilt faces as they tumble down the staircase that erases the fears we fostered to maintain control

unwrapping hopes

they resort to tropes

left behind

codes to define

generation connections

crossing the line

we left no pictures

traces of our devastation

it lives behind their eyes

never mixing in their words

as they rewrite a past

better forgotten

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