Sunday, August 8, 2021
Photo of an old stairwell through a window which shows the reflection of the photographer, the blue sky, and buildings.
Photo by Timmy Straw


Dreams of dancing feet, music sweet.
Songs sung by a chorus of the young.

Memories still fresh from the childhood just left behind,

retreat, retreat,

into this internal escape.

Try to lose sensation. And chains disappear.

The four point nightmare is cleared.

Steel and concrete bunk becomes a sleep number bed.

Set on twenty-two, soon twenty-three. Firm, but

growing soft as decades fade, like memories

of life.

Never cry out. That cold steel is just a gentle embrace

the numbness in hands and feet a safe place to focus,

to remember being alive.

Every two hours they come in to make sure your heart

still beats. The nurse is sweet but usually blind to

the swelling of extremities, or maybe it’s all a dream.

Staff shout and scream. But all I hear are friendly greetings

and encouragement to keep up the fight. I hope I’m right.