you left behind a mass of blankets

amidst the remains of your baby clothes

a cocoon of which you were queen

but when I unraveled the blankets,

there were spiders

and a dent in the down

where you'd laid your head

I remember we used to build forts

out of the thin sheets and paint-drop-cloths

you sat in the doorway and sang instructions

and when it was done

we pulled the blinds shut

and lay within our fortress


like the stars

whose simulacrum we made

using fluorescent lights

I tried to build a fort last night

and found I couldn't

without the murmured directions in your lilt

the skills were not there

when I needed them most

It's funny

how the things you need most

are never there