Night Terrors

Mo Daley

They come when I am happy
They come when I am anxious
They come when they will-
When I’m with a houseful of family celebrating in Colorado
When I’ve shared a delightful evening with my husband
When I’ve hiked Machu Picchu and am finally able to rest
The Night Terrors
They come without warning
Insidiously creeping into my psyche
Tugging at fears that are buried so far below the surface
That I didn’t even know they were there
They prod, they poke, they push frantically
Until the bony hand of the man chasing me
Grabs me so tightly around the throat
That I can’t scream
Although I am terrified,
I’ve never been one to keep quiet
So I try
And I try
And I try
To be heard
Until at last,
The low-pitched groan releases from my throat
Turning into a shrill, ear-splitting scream
That wakes the house
Welcoming them into my nightmare


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Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Mo Daley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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