Aje

by Leonore Gordon
(Note: “Aje” means “farewell” in the African language Wolf.)

Aje, Blanket Friend
Aje, Old One,
soft against my five year old cheek,
my steady blue-quilted friend.
They say they’re taking you away
because you’re old and full of holes,
and yes, thin as a spider’s web shaken
by a cold wind.
They say I don’t need you
anymore. They don’t know.S
thumb-in-my-mouth,
baby fingers gripping you tight,
stroking you over and over
night after night, until I’d finally dream.
Aje, Friend. Remember cold winters,
when leafless trees leaned heavy,
and the wind played unwelcome drumbeats
against my bedroom window?
You’d sing me wordless blanket songs
until I slept.
Remember early bedtime,
in a not-quite-darkened room
when shadows danced from closet doors?
You, Old Blanket, wrapped yourself around my heart, and whispered me to peace.
Aje. Thank you. Aje.