Today's poem is by Madeline DeFrees

Broken Sleep

Three times a night, I climb from my Percocet
dream — the repetitive reel of
falling — drawn by a flashlight beam into my cold
Wake Island kitchen where comfort
waits in a small white

                                  tablet that throws open
the gates of horn and ivory. In bed I feel
barrel staves tighten
around my chest. This is the year the ravening
beast, locked in my rib cage,

                                              breaks free,
stalks the sad moonscape meant to leave me
with one bulletproof breast: a dental
patient weighed down by the lead in an X-ray
vest. The dream is always

                                        the same: blueberry
bush in its bird-netting sash at the rockery
crown. The animal cry piercing
the hush. Stones taking aim at the flung
body parts plummeting down to collect
in a heap on the sidewalk.

Copyright © 2006 Madeline DeFrees All rights reserved
from Spectral Waves
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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