Lies We Honor
Midnight, I awake to darkness, a silent
house without electrical hum grants
sound to dark thoughts: What if
school shootings? What if cancer?
What if their tiny hearts cease flickering?
I consider the moon outside, dark bruises
on white slate, my only navigation
and how my daughter once asked mom,
why does that light follow us everywhere?
My husband and I stumble, searching
for a match. I shiver and almost confess
to my unspeakable fears but remember
when my children are scared I repeat:
You are safe. You are safe. You are safe.
I do not know if I can surrender
to the optimism of the moon,
its unswerving light, or forget
how all affirmations are just lies
we honor. Yet, here is my husband
kindling the logs in our fireplace, here
is a reminder of what follows us,
a red glow tempering the dark.
by Tara Iacobucci
Editor’s Note: Only poems like this can encompass terror and love and hope all at once.