By Joanna White
Nightmare from childhood slips behind her eyes,
projecting pictures, nights when she is helpless.
The hospital clown appears and she turns five.
Masked figures hold her down. She fights and tries
escaping noxious gas but it envelops.
She leaps and wisps out windows way up high.
She jumps a cloud to swish across the sky.
In air she finds a voice, no longer speechless.
But films re-loop of needles, lights, and cries.
Old films re-loop of needles, lights, and cries.
The girl, she lost her voice, again was speechless,
despite the cloud that swished across the sky
and wisping out small windows way up high
to flee the noxious gas but it envelops.
Masked figures hold her down, she fights and tries.
The hospital clown appears and she turns five,
projecting pictures nights when she is helpless.
Nightmare from childhood slips behind her eyes.
Joanna White is Professor of Flute at Central Michigan University. After performing with a poet, she returned to an early love of creative writing and studies poetry with Robert Fanning and Jeffrey Bean. She has poems forthcoming in The Grey Sparrow Journal and recently had poems in The Flute View, The Central Review, Ars Medica – A Journal of Medicine, Arts, and Humanities, Minerva Rising Literary Journal, and the Naugatuck River Review as a finalist in their fifth annual narrative poetry contest. She lives in Mount Pleasant, Michigan with her husband and has a daughter and son in college.
From the Author
My poem “Undream” is inspired by the mirror form and power of Natasha Trethewey’s poem, “Myth,” in which the narrator tries to dream her mother alive again, but the mirror form returns us to the reality. I thought the mirror form would be useful for me to describe the unsuccessful wish to undo the replay of medical nightmares that continue to haunt.