May 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Three
Mather Schneider
Night Terrors

It's three a.m.
and I'm on my sister's couch.
By the ghostly light
of the Christmas tree
I watch her eighty pound dog
sleeping on the floor.
I'll be thirty seven
on January eighth.
It's scary to be back
after so many years,
to see what time has done to me
by the reflection in
the family's faces.
My sister's dog
is a good girl, she's an old dog
with a loving heart,
but over the past few years
she's gone deaf.
She can't hear
my sister's six year old boy
screaming upstairs in the bedroom,
she can't hear him
crying for
mama
though mama's arms
are slow in coming,
she can't hear him beating on the wall
as if to disappear inside it,
terrorized by something
his parents assure him
is unreal.

Her leg twitches
and she whines a little,
but does not awaken.
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