Five of Us

I grew up
in a house with no room
for much of anything
that one could call a childhood.
Our spare living room
with nothing much to sit upon
All we had were bookshelves with
books that we could live in,
books that we could dive into,
books that we could hide in.

We never stayed
in one place for too long as
Father was a minstrel
looking for his lost song.
I made up
fancy things in my own mind
to keep me occupied
from the monsters outside,
from the monsters outside me,
and from the monsters inside.

Five of us,
making do,
when all we had
left with you.
Five of us,
pushing through,
all these years
without you.

The prophet, he said,
that five was the number of grace.
That prophet, he said,
that he saw your beautiful face.
He spelled out my name
and made them all cry
but you still died.