TO MY SON
If I could, I would crawl inside you and curl up like a dog.
Last night I dreamed you were in some sort of trouble.
I was trying to help, not doing any good.
How to translate what’s in the space between my heart and stomach?
The thing you put there.
Yesterday somebody asked me the name of a tree.
I wanted to answer. She had chosen me to ask.
She broke off the end of a branch
to show someone else.
Leaves lined up on both sides of the stem.
I recognized the shape, and still no name.
I am crossing a desert.
You are crossing a sea.
Alison Hicks is the author of poetry collections You Who Took the Boat Out and Kiss, a chapbook Falling Dreams, and a novella Love: A Story of Images. Her work has appeared in Eclipse, Gargoyle, Permafrost, and Poet Lore, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Green Hills Literary Lantern. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops.