For months my son slept swaddled in blankets
of stars and his cries called my waking to his
mouth wailing wet pink. When he moved across
the hall, a blue whale speckled stars over his
ceilings and walls until he demanded blue and red
and yellow to light the dark. Today, staring out my
window, large, gold stars roll over canvas tents
filled with rucksacks, duffels and belts carried
in-country far away from recruiters who fill tents
with young men like my son, who is not a man, barely
a child fitting between hip and ribcage, where I hold
him, scrolling social media shouts of war, and I know,
later, I will lie across the hall and dream him still
and silent and staring at a starless sky.
Brianna Pike is an Associate Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College. Her poems have appeared in So to Speak, Connotation Press, Glassworks, Gravel, Heron Tree, and Mojave River Review among others. She currently serves as an Editorial Assistant for the Indianapolis Review and lives in Indianapolis with her husband & son.