Woman in the Locked Ward

by John P. Kristofco

Dark curtain with outline of a plant's shadow, blocking out light.

Sometimes she remembers those who come;
sometimes she does not,
her dreams blur with world she really sees:
            “I made doughnuts at the stove last night,
            before the men crawled from the pantry with their guns.”
She sits inside the complex of a hoarder’s life,
storing things forever from the thief who takes her living
breath by breath,
choosing death inside this hole
seeing only walls,
weighed down by truth of who she is
and was,
quiet but for outbursts now and then,
artillery of language ringing out
like hail on a metal roof,
hard enough for hate,
true enough for sharp regret.
She stares into the distance from her tortured soul,
confronted by a world she doesn’t know,
but one she seems to somehow understand:
the shadows from a light she’s always feared.

Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing