My nightmares have changed. They used to be full
of monsters and stairs only there
to fall down and men coming
to steal my once-a-baby brother.
I dreamt in strange languages and on one occasion
of a carpenter whose yellow-shadowed face leered
solemnly and my ribs trembled
in the terror a five-year-old does not understand.
One night there was a radio that danced
and wouldn’t turn off. I was not afraid
of this mechanical monstrosity, only
that it would wake my still-a-baby brother.
And sometimes I dreamed of death.
An abyss beyond stars and flashlights
with no mother’s lap
or father’s hand
But they are not the same these nights. I have
given birth in my dining room
to an infant whose name I did not know.
I have stood in empty parking lots
of blaring headlights in the rain
spotlighting all the hiding places
I could no longer use.
Other times, sweaty men have lumbered
at me, aggressive
with their nudity.
And I have stared down
whose cracking doors loom and lord
in the dark.
One night there was a crash
(I heard but could not see)
and a blond woman
who swore frantically and I woke
trembling in the terror a twenty-year-old understands
but does not want to.
My brother came into my room and I could not explain
to this little boy who still dreams
of monsters, that I was afraid
not of the crash
or of the woman but of
in her gasp that was so loud
it could have been a howl.
Created: Jan 06, 2012HannahPie Document Media