Night Walk

You puttered down the hall,

with white socks on your little feet,

to the asylum where you buttered the bread

and poured the cold milk into the tall

and vitreous glasses. A form of heat

rose from your throat when you put the red

napkins in their place on the tray; this was all


you had to offer. Your childhood slept

while your wiped up the crumbs, fearing

to leave such traces of those intentions

that ignited in the water that day and had crept

stealthily for years in every dress you stood wearing

in front of long mirrors. Their faith premonition,

becoming louder by the breath, now kept


you at home that night. Solace in the form

of a morning meal wavered like the crystal balls

you used to hide under the pillows. You released the tray

as though it held your children, using a touch warm

and humming with finality. After you sealed them in the crawl

space of their certain futures, the yellow haze

of your years came rushing like a hero, like a whiskey, like a storm.  


©Ashley Herring Blake