Small Ghosts

by Ulrica Hume

the mother tells her child the flashes at the horizon
are fireworks, not bombs, so he will not be afraid.

at night he curls by the door or else he follows
her to a different place.
he is quiet, then.
as if he knows the secret challenge.

better if he and all the others screamed.
if the terrible sound reached its cause:
a stranger's ear.

only a dream,
they would tell him, small ghosts.
it is only a dream.