Murphy.jpg
Lost
by Eileen Murphy

It’s getting dark; we’ve been in the car traveling
winding mountain roads all afternoon.
I’m getting sleepy.
Mommy? I whine. Can I have my blankie?

My mother speaks from the front seat
without turning around.
It’s lost, honey.
 
I’m puzzled. “Lost?”

My mother turns around,
but doesn’t meet my gaze.
It was old and raggedy.
You’re a big girl now.
You don’t need a blankie.

I glance out the window and quickly away,
dizzy and scared by the cliffs
that drop off at the side of the road.

I start to cry. I want my blankie.
Doesn’t she understand I need to, I must
rest in my blanket’s comforting arms?

Sighing, my mother says, It got eaten
in the dryer, honey. It’s gone.

I’m sobbing now. I want my blankie!
 
Oh, dear. Somebody’s tired.

Settle down back there, my father’s voice intrudes.
He’s been driving all day.

I want my blankie, I wannit, I wannit! I scream.

Young lady, warns my father, if you
don’t shut up right now, I’m gonna stop this car
and give you a spanking.

Do I shut up or do I get a spanking?

I forget.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me at age two.”

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Silver Birch Press call for “Lost and Found” submissions has been rolling around in my mind for some time now, when suddenly this poem sprang out in response. The poem is autobiographical in the sense that I had a beloved “blankie” that got “lost,” per my mother, in the move our family made from Washington State to Texas. Although I was only two, I still remember how upset I was. In the poem, I try to capture what it would be like for a little girl like me when she first discovers her blanket is lost.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A former Chicagolander, Eileen Murphy now lives 30 miles from Tampa, Florida. She received her Masters degree from Columbia College, Chicago. She teaches literature/English at Polk State College in Lakeland and has recently published poetry in Silver Birch Press, Tinderbox (nominated for Pushcart Prize), Yes Poetry, The American Journal of Poetry, Rogue Agent, and a number of other journals. She has published (or has forthcoming) over 50 poems in the U.S., Canada, and the U. K.