I woke up about 4:00 a.m.
and looked down the hall
at the fridge, hoping to see
Little Miss Midnight Mouse
eating the cottage cheese
in her blue nightie.
There she was, her hunched frame aglow.
She turned around and smiled
her dark chocolate eyes at me
and raised the small curds
like a wine glass.
“Oh honestly what Mom?”
“It’s not time for you yet.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about this place Jerry.”
“Yeah, what about it?”
“You are dreaming again.”
“If I am, I don’t want to wake up.”
As Mom began walking toward me,
the fridge light brightened,
and her body was surrounded
with golden shards that dripped
to the creaking floor.
“Jerry, remember how you always
prayed Jesus would visit me in my dreams.”
“Yes, I do.”
“Well, he said it would be okay if
I showed up in one of yours.
That Frosty from Wendy’s right
before you fell asleep was my ticket.”
“Comfort food enhanced dream, eh?”
“God has a sense of humor too, Gerald.”
“Mom.” I reached to pat her head.
She stepped back out of reach.
I put my arm down.
“You caught me with the leftovers,
and I wanted to be waiting for you
at the dining room table so we could
talk and drink Maxwell House.”
She straightened up
and opened her freckled arms.
I fell into her embrace and wept.
She clasped my hand and pulled
me toward the table that had two
mugs steaming, one with lipstick
pasted on the rim.
We were together until my alarm bleeped.