Lost. Missed.
by Brenda Davis Harsham

Break my arm
on a dare,
climbing aboard
a rusty, swing set beam.

Father freaks:
“Move your fingers!”
“NO!” word swims
in a red-faced, salty ocean.

Dad wraps arm
in a newspaper.
Blankie dries
every tear. Fingers wiggle.

That night. Sleepless.
Arm throbs. I
realize Blankie
is across town, at the ER.

Parents? “No way.”
Dare? Done.
Courage? Won.
Blankie? Bye. Lost. Missed.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, at two, holding Blankie — lost but not forgotten.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I broke my arm around age six. I grew up in the tough love generation. My stepmother was probably happy that blankie was gone and her daughter on the way toward growing up. Not many kids had blankies in first grade. At that age, I didn’t understand how tired parents can be after a day like that one. I do now. These days, I agree with Washington Irving, “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.”


Brenda Davis Harsham lives and works in New England. Her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies or journals including the Best of Today’s Little Ditty, NY Literary Magazine, Silver Birch Press, The Writing Garden, and The Paperbook Collective. One of her poems won First Place in NY Literary Magazine’s Awake Best Poetry Contest. She writes poetry and fairytales for kids of all ages at and tweets as @BrendaDHarsham.