After four days of fever
and one long coughing fit
her face turned red, eyes watery
before she let out a burp
that would do a sailor proud
then threw up
all over her Spiderman pajamas,
the letters and numbers
on her clean spring sheets.
Spring – though a foot of snow fell today
and for many, the power is out.
Through all of this,
the older child waited
while the father washed the young one off
and the mama started a load of laundry.
She refused later offers – a book, a snuggle –
instead planting herself
on the couch
with her “How I Feel” diary.
Right now, I feel unloved.
Now she sleeps at her mother’s side.
The younger sister
upstairs in her parents’ bed,
a green bucket at her side
just in case.
The snow is melting, again,
the hyacinths looking so caught
off-guard by the time warp
of a late-April storm,
brave tulips standing almost tall.
The dogs lick their paws delicately.
And the mother is one
the soft expanse of brow
long after every furrow has smoothed itself,
who tucks the hair away behind ears,
the faintest pulse near the lobe,
who changes the load
wipes the tears,
loves the unloved,
wellness will come again, just like the elusive spring.