The fire sings its lullaby of crackles in the fireplace. 

The spiral curl of my dog nuzzles close beside me. 

We lie on the carpet of a hundred spills, stains, stories. 

Letting the fire’s song splash warmth onto our bodies.

I look down at her. Her round, brown eyes blink up at me.

She scoots closer, sighing. I can almost see her smile. 

And soon I can’t tell if the warmth is from the flames or from my 


mom and dad

on the couch.

being near them again, 

my muscles melt like ice on June sidewalk. 

my thoughts slow, losing their destinations. 

I think of all the times I should’ve said                                                                           thank you.

We leave the tv off. 

We all would rather listen 

To the fire’s song. 

We all breathe together. 

Rising and falling, so still. 

None of us dare move, in fear of waking up the time monster

From his slumber. 

We all stay like that,

listening, breathing. 

I say thank you over and over in my head 

                                                               until I fall asleep.