“Fragmentation” by Brandi Bolt

When your mother told me about
how you used to lay along the sidewalk
and pet blades of grass, I knew that
our children would be good. Their souls
would stem hope from your
familial roots. They would build homes
from cushions and wear blankets
as capes to fight off villains made from
tree trunks and strange shadows. Your
bravery would flow through their blood.
And even when they cried, we would
laugh at your faces and hold onto
jokes told only by fathers. I loved how
they loved you, and held onto the promise
that you would come home soon.

Brandi Bolt is a graduate of Salisbury University, with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in English. She currently resides in Ocean City, Maryland.