The Crib

by Ella Kitt

I pressed my palm against the prickly scab from last

night. She left me here, in the crib. After the door

closed I leaned my cheek against the

cold, lacquered wood and wept. My face glossy with

tears I cried out. I wrapped my small pink

fingers around the new blanket, but the green velvet gave me no

warmth. I tried to climb but couldn’t

reach the top. The bars went up and up and

up. I didn’t deserve the dark

The toys made monster shapes during the

night. Their silhouettes moved without form

shifting in the shadows like smoke. I smelled the sleeve of my

white jumper. It smelled like mommy, like honey and citrus.

No one heard me in our big red house.

I slapped the wood with my tiny fist and

asked for help. Don’t leave me here until

the sun sees through the windows.

until the coffee is on your breath.

I soothed myself by hitting my

head. Harder each time against the post.

The scab broke

open, the blood felt warm.

Daddy cried and said to stop but I

liked the dizzy, tipsy feeling

anesthetized, subdued

No more crying

My mind whirred like a dreidel, spinning, spinning

until the crib felt good enough for me.