Two Dark Poems by Brianna Malotke: “I’m Still Here” and “Hug Your Mother”

I’m Still Here

When the violent wind howls
And the shutters slam against
The tightly locked windows
- who do you call out to?
When the lights flicker
And the floorboards creak
With every step, or just old age
- why do you close your eyes?
When the temperature drops
And the air seems frigid,
Even though the fire is roaring
- who do you pray to?
When the shadows dance
And shift about so quickly
Your eyes second guessing
- why do you whisper my name?

Hug Your Mother

When I was little and upset
My mother would always say
To not forget to hug her for
A mother’s love cured everything.

And so, over the years
Even if I didn’t need one
I often hugged my mother.

I hugged her – no matter what – 
Through good times and bad
Our family always did seem happy
From the outside looking in.

And so, over the years
I always hugged my mother
Up until the day we buried her.

A mother’s love cured everything
Echoed faintly in my mind
As the doctor explained the diagnosis
And gave me a set of days left.

And so that night I dug her up
And made sure to hug her lovingly,
For a mother’s love cures everything.

Brianna Malotke’s most recent work can be found online at The Crypt, Witch House Amateur Magazine, and Dark Entries Journal. She has poems in the anthologies BeneathCosmosThe Deep, and Beautiful Tragedies 2. Looking ahead to 2022, she has two poems in the Women in Horror Poetry Showcase, “Under Her Skin,” published by Black Spot Books. 

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