gnarl toothed fear

by Rachelle Howe

the closet light is ominous.
it signifies my twelve year habit.
i've been a crumpled mess,
afraid of the dark, and burningburning.

in my sleep i talk like the possessed.
in the morning, you will tell me that i
held my hands over my head like a prisoner.
i am, in many ways:
bound to shards and glass and paintings
that i bought last year and never hung.

i hear you in my dreams,
hear you say that the omens
are like women who
hold their legs above their heads and scream

i couldn't taste you then,
nor now, only the acidic backwash
of having to wake up.
emerging, my eyes
scan the shadows and
arrive at the closet, my captor

sweaty palms
deftly clutching that child
who is still waiting
for the monsters
to come crawling
out of doors and flesh.


Author's Note: my first poem for my poetry class.

Posted on 10/24/2006
Copyright © 2022 Rachelle Howe

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristine Briese on 10/24/06 at 10:32 PM

Ah, yes, just the experience I needed. You've never failed me.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 10/29/06 at 02:23 AM

I see so much in here that's totally amazing. Images that are blended into different nightmares, from both adult and childhood. They are mixed, so that fear becomes a startling reality, yet escape is impossible. Yeah...

Posted by Leslie Ann Eisenberg on 10/29/06 at 06:16 AM

delightfully dark. awesome images! fabulous last stanza! PK

Posted by Laura Doom on 10/29/06 at 12:51 PM

yep - well executed exercise - simple, if disturbing theme, menacing imagery expanding both conscious and unconscious fears and an arresting atmosphere.
some ideas/questions about this, if you're interested...

Posted by Lauren Singer on 10/29/06 at 06:55 PM

this is vivid and perfect.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 10/30/06 at 03:02 PM

Oh my, this is grippingly perfect! WEll done!

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