when I was young
that mouse limp brown
that hid my eyes behind its layers.
It didn’t offer the luster of other girls’
whose moms allowed chemicals and dyes
But for me shelter was the better treasure.
as long as no one knew
that underneath its finer strands
a nest of bramble
a tangled weave
an abandoned web would hide.
My sister found it once,
lifted its length to reveal the
the snarly mesh,
yelled for Mom
who couldn’t hide her horror.
It wasn’t the hour of tugs and tears
the snagging pulls, the dull ache
of sitting still
the clumps of dust and hair
that swept across the table
like a Midwestern storm in June.
It was my bruised pride
my hidden carelessness
that shunned untangling,
wilting quickly when exposed to light.
Julianne Palumbo is a mother, a writer, and a writing encourager. As a shy young girl, poetry is where she first found her voice. She has published poems, short stories, and essays, and continues to dream about publication of her YA novels-in-verse. She is the author of Into Your Light (Flutter Press, 2013) and Announcing the Thaw (Finishing Line Press, 2014), poetry chapbooks about raising teenagers. She is the Founder/Editor of Mothers Always Write, an online literary magazine about motherhood, and a columnist for Literary Mama where she chronicles her recent journey to adopt children out of foster care. When she is not writing, you will find her in the kitchen or the garden or walking the dog.