My father strung Christmas lights across my childhood bedroom,
Lights he lifted from our neighbor’s window when he saw an eviction notice hanging on their door.
And he spent his last paycheck on long white veils to drape from the ceiling to the floor, drapes so my bed would take off and float in fog and Heaven.
I say his last paycheck because Daddy was fired for stealing two cans of blue paint from the stock room, paint that he spread across my bedroom walls “so the Bronx wouldn’t seep in.”
“Thas’ our ocean,” he said. “Thas’ our everything, baby girl. And you livin’ with it now. It’s all yours.”
And it was. That night, the ruckus seemed far away,
Far over an ocean and far down below
This bed lost in fog and heaven.
About the Poet
Shanna Maybright is, before all else, a loving mother. You can find more of her work here: