Bad Dreams


Passed along, mother to daughter,
like a rosary of dull beads,
her bad memories haunt me after,
old fears as polished litanies.

Like a rosary of dull beads,
sweat droplets collect in wrinkles;
old fears as polished litanies
swell up in mind, hands, and ankles.

Sweat droplets collect in wrinkles:
“Some anxiety in the night.”
Swelling in mind, hands, and ankles
calls a needled calm, pale and bright.

Some anxiety in the night,
passed along, mother to daughter,
calls a needled calm, pale and bright —
bad memories. They haunt me, after.

6 responses to “Bad Dreams

  1. Holy Spirit in action — the poem popped up on my screen after two consecutive nights of bad dreams, the essence of which you’ve captured here, my dear and talented friend.

    • Thank you for saying so, Meredith! I am always reluctant to post a “sad” poem, so it is encouraging to hear that sometimes others also feel this way. And I guess you know how I slept last night!

  2. I do not see it as sad – more of a reflection on aging and missing loved ones

    • The bad dreams that were haunting me at that time were too disturbing for me to actually write about, and remain so. I still shudder and tense at the memory.

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