Mommy goes to work very early every morning.
She hasn’t had a job since we were born
but she had to get one now that Daddy’s gone.
She sets a timer on the microwave
so I know when to get up.
It’s so dark when I hear that little beep.
I think there might be
a bad guy hiding in the closet or under my bed
but no one else can check for me.
I try not to worry
like Mommy told me
and I start to dress myself.
It’s hard to button my shirt
and tie my shoes by myself
but I’m learning.
I tell myself, “I’m only five!
This is not how it should be!
I want my mommy!”
Tears feel hot in my eyes.
But I won’t let them fall
because there is nothing I can do about it.
I promise myself:
When I’m a mommy someday
it won’t be like this at all.
I hide that promise
in the deep down place no one sees.
When I’m finished I wake Sister up.
She can stay in her pajamas
since she doesn’t go to school yet.
We walk up the stairs
and see the light under the door.
We open it to Grandpa and Grandma and Aunt N
smiling at us, and our plates are ready.
When my tummy’s full
with warm pancakes and bacon
I feel okay again
for a little while.