In the dream –  she runs, muscles pumping

the air which grows thick and impenetrable


screams for help die strangled in her throat,

producing a pathetic and muffled whimper


until finally the overwhelming relief when

awareness returns and the dream slips away


but there is a heaviness in this awakening

and the fog is slow to lift – raising her shoulders

she feels the pain as her forehead scrapes the wood


through the dark, her eyes catch the light in

stripes filtering through the slats in the boards


panic fills the tiny space while her body

struggles in vain – resisting the truth


she hears the shuffling of feet, the muffled

voices –  feels the burn of her screams rising in

her throat, held silent by the tape over her mouth


she whimpers as tears burn the corners of

her eyes and she wills the dream to return


gently the nurse removes the syringe

places a bandage over the tiny drop of red

untangles her from the blankets and

silently slips out the door