Poetry

No Safe Harbor

Trigger Warning: This was a reoccurring night terror of mine. It involved finding an infant dead. I don’t know why I had this night terror other than it was a deep rooted fear that it might happen. Now that my children are no longer babies I no longer have it but the images still haunt me. I keep trying to write out this dream in a number of ways and I can’t seem to get it right. I don’t know what it is I’m looking for or what I’m trying to express with it. Maybe nothing other than trying to let it go and wash myself free of it. I’m not even sure if I have the title right yet.

Unable to block the distant keening screams,
filled every fold of the mind with dread
and each crease of the gut with disquiet.
Unsure was she of what this bedroom harbors.
With each hesitant, squelching step she failed
to understand why the burgundy paint was bloody.

Running upward, the walls were bleeding.
All around her the room was screaming
and still her comprehension was failing.
Inside here the truth she dreaded
but still the light of hope she harbored
while railing against her disquiet.

To watch the crimson fluid flow was disquieting.
Where did all of this come from? All this blood.
Why was this happening in her safe harbor?
And the screams wouldn’t stop. So many screams.
A nightmare life full of dreading
and nothing done right filled with failing.

She tried and tried with all her might but failed
to defeat the beastly worm feeding her the disquieting
things and whispering the awful things most dreadful.
Rivers – over the floor, on the walls, across the ceiling – all blood.
Keening – in the room, far away, in her ear – screaming.
She could no longer call this her safe harbor.

She should have protected the things she harbored
most dear; instead in fear and blind eyes she failed.
Staring at his eyeless face, in denial she screamed.
Sirens filled the room as the abiding disquiet
gave way to agony while from the ceiling dripped blood.
This was the truth she had avoided and dreaded.

The question her heart so long had been dreading:
What kind of monster was she harboring?
And now? From her hands – once pristine – dripped blood.
Her inaction. Her blind eye. Her failure.
Welcome to the malaise of eternal disquietude.
It wasn’t her, it was his father, she screamed.

No solace offered for her screams. Everything lost as dreaded.
She deserved this withering disquiet. Time to flee the harbor.
Time to accept the failings. Time to run from the blood.

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