Cost of Living

Candle of Hope

How much am I worth to you?

Another theater, another school?

Another place where people gather

Out in public, or doesn’t it matter?

How much can I pay you for

your children’s blood on classroom floors?

How much is the fiance’ worth

if she’s wedding before the baby’s birth?

Tell me, because I don’t want your guns

you can keep them, I’m wanting none.

If you collect or if you hunt

I have no interest in killing your fun.

But any sane person should agree

that these “daily” mass killings are a spree

With romanticized violence the law of the land,

as responsible owners, please take a stand.

Show them what it means to be smart

Give us something, someplace to start

 

I don’t want to be afraid to go to the store

become another pawn in this domestic war

If it happens to one it’s a tragedy

but if it happens to more, a statistic you’ll be

Terrorism doesn’t have the brown skin like we’re told

It’s the murderer’s body count, sin chillingly cold.

If I die before I wake

I woke up covered in sweat with the blade of a knife I didn’t own mere inches from the face of my sleeping husband. I’d just stabbed a brown and tan hairless creature, that was trying to eat my arm, with a vicious punch. A child of about two clung to my chest as I adjusted enough to skillfully (Where did I get that skill from?) hide the blade again. I was panting with exertion, as the large brown eyes of the little child (Why do I have a child?) stared back at me with complete trust. I sat up in my bed. The child touched my cheek with a tiny fist and slid from the waking world back into the mist.

My muscles twitched from unusual exertion. My legs, gimp foot, and arms felt like I’d been running for my life. I searched my naked body for the blade I’d held in my hands, I pushed and pulled blankets searching for something that wasn’t there. I looked at the clock on my husband’s bedside stand. In accusing red glare, 4:47, alarm still set, gentle snore and roll over from my husband.

I settled my breathing as my mind tried to sort through what had awakened my physical being. My little dog snuggled closer to my left hip. My cat paraded with pride up my body to curl at my right shoulder. But I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in the middle of a war I knew nothing about in the waking life.

The night before this happened, in the sleeping world there were three men, one a sheriff who had given me false hope that he would rescue me, chasing me through swamps. I’d hidden low tide in a bunker. There were so many dead bodies in this bunker. Across the rising water against the opposite wall was a girl who was long dead but her blonde curls, like mine, were still mostly in tact. She wore a pretty dress like an Easter one I used to get. It was blue and had a white lace “bib” on it. She was wearing Mary Jane shoes with most of the patent leather shine gone.

If I’d been wearing shoes, they would have found me, but I drowned in the water. I was mercifully gone before they discovered my body. I woke up vomiting swamp water, barely making it to the toilet before it launched.

Why am I suddenly entrenched in a battle? What mysteries are laying behind my dreams? I need to figure out a way to keep control of the violence before it wanders into this world.