Tiny fingers wiggle at me under a door.
Where light shines through cold bleakness.
The child pulls away before I can clasp her hand.
She sends me secret parchments in dreams –
Penciled lists of demands from a diabolical puppeteer,
Pulled from an empty bottle of rum.
The rules: a cage she rattles with defiance.
Winter is over and the sunbeams herald rebellion,
Manifest in the cherry blossoms she pins to her hair.
This poem was written during Kate Gray’s global writing prompt call on March 22, 2020. The prompt was “after the winter.” You can find info on the call via her FB page.