November 26, 2014 | ,

Defenses Down

Photo Credit: Jessica Kennedy


What if they are the true
perceptions of your life,
those thoughts which come at two
in the morning,
when shadows twist and shift
like lunatics
and darkness
presses its cold fingertips
hard against your straining eyes?

What if the dull rage
in the dregs of booze
glazing the last ice cubes,
at the bottom of the glass,
the feeling of being ill-used,
the whole world watching,
sullen and against you,
could really come to pass?
What if you are that tiny person
screaming in your head?

What if you open
a closet door to discover that
it is you who has become
the monster that you dread?
Suppose those people
crouching behind the couch
to jump out at your birthday
are going to shout, “Drop dead!”
and not, “Surprise!”


Carol Clark Williams is poet laureate emeritus of York, Pennsylvania, and facilitates the “Poetry Spoken Here” readings for the open air Yorkfest arts festival in August. She teaches poetry workshops for high school students, senior centers, support groups, and residents of institutions. Carol’s poems have been published in print and online journals including Mad Poets …

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