At my bedroom door an unarmed guard
stands statue-straight—a nightlight
once Christmas-wrapped in Mother’s love.
After dusk I flip the swtich and a bulb
hidden in the nest when palm presses palm
shines through parchment-plastic skin
veined like the Mississippi Delta.
Early some mornings when I can’t sleep
the steeple-finger hands belong to my mother,
awake all night, weeping for her children,
pleading for our cause.