Appetite

Sometimes in the kitchen at midnight,
clad in her nightgown,
squinting and shielding her eyes from the light,
Mom found me snacking on raisins,
or on peanut butter and bread.
"What're you doing up so late?" she'd whisper,
not waking Dad and my brothers and sisters.
"You shouldn't eat before bed."
Then she'd sit at the table, just to be with me.
She'd spend a few more minutes there,
asking questions and listening to me talk.
Heading back to her and my father's bedroom,
she'd urge me to join my sleeping brothers soon.
After her visit, my appetite always vanished,
and slipping under the covers
I felt loved enough to sleep.

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