She came to her mother in the night
smelling of sweat, fear and sour breath
with hair tangled into miserable knots
crying about the monsters plaguing her dreams
which resembled all too closely
the boys who teased her mercilessly at school
even though Mom had complained to the teacher,
begging her to stop the torture.
The girl snuggled next to her mother’s side
head resting on the chest
arms tightly gripping her mother’s waist
and cried until all tears were gone.
her mom thought about sending her daughter
back to her own bed
back to the darkness where nightmares ran free,
but instead cradled her daughter and tried
to erase the painful memories.