Awake and Dreaming

by Abigail Rudibaugh

My daughter creeps downstairs
without creaking a single board.
She knew it was way past bedtime.
Opening my door, I see her,
get out of my own bed to meet her,
and take her back upstairs.

But instead of her hand reaching
for mine, my outstretched hand
grabs her decorated paper.
“Mom, I made this for you!”
speaks out of a full smile shared
with both her lips and blue eyes.

The paper holds an ice cream cone
colored a bright rainbow flavor.
She must have turned the light on
(after I switched it off) and went
to work coloring at her table.

How could I be mad
with marker all over her hand
and an hour of missed sleep?
I’m holding her dreams
she still knows she can achieve
right on this colorful sheet.

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