Many nights my mother dreams of small pets
she’s forgotten: starved in the dark and found
after years, so many years. Just enough life left
to light that flat hungry flash of their eyes.
In my father’s dream he discovers a room
somewhere at the house’s heart. Its walls
are damp, the whole foundation’s cracked.
At any moment it will cave, a sinkhole
swallowing his children’s beds, his wife and the
spot where the dog sleeps. When my mother
dreams of the room in this house that nobody
has ever found, she says she shuts the door
behind her, quickly and softly. She stands
and stares: the bare wood floor, the shallow
dust, a small window no one has seen
from outside. Its silence dazzles her. She wakes
still trying to keep the secret safe.