KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Prose Poem: 317 words

Bed of Ashes

by Kika Dorsey

I have hundreds of pages documenting the ruins of my house. My son’s room is black with the glint of ashes, the burnt bed crumbled, light fixture dangling. I think of that bed, how he chose it in the store, lay back and said “Mom, in this bed I could sleep.” But there were too many nights he still didn’t sleep, and I worried, but I knew he had his room, with the murals he painted on the walls of sailboats and water and crows, with the books and climbing posters, and I could not give him happiness but I could give him a home with walls to protect him and a soft white bed.

Then there was the fire and I could no longer give him that. June entered our lives on a bed of ashes, the poppies bloomed, and it rained too late. I was climbing up a ladder from earth’s molten core, but I could not breathe, so I stopped midair and gazed at the raven on the horizon. I lost my ground.

To be a mother is to nest your world, to collect what it has discarded and left generously on your lap. You build from what has fallen. My lap is piled with ashes, and I am lost.

I saw a goose with her goslings at the pond when the morning light fell golden and the blackbirds sang. The goslings followed her even though she was going nowhere, just spinning circles around the tight enclave of water. In the distance a train whistled and I wondered where it was going: a jungle with vines that hugged trees, a desert with its cacti and snakes, a forest of beech trees. I wanted to go there. But there’s a nest to build, gardens to weed, and beds to buy that untangle us in dreamless sleep the color of ash and rain.


Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡