“Night Terrors” out in Neologism Poetry Journal

I’m thrilled to see my poem, “Night Terrors” in Neologism Poetry Journal’s November 2020 issue.

Here’s the poem:

Night Terrors

There is no way to prepare you—
the way you will be able
to lift a car despite your weakness,
the way you will throw yourself
into the street to snatch your child back,
the way your body will turn
when you fall forward carrying that small body,
twist, resist the impulse to break your fall.
Instead, you will hold the baby close
wrench your back.
It will never be the same.

Those things are true
but there is also this–
the wails at two a.m.,
the recognition you’ll have
for teenagers who abandon babies
in public bathrooms, walk away;
the jealousy for those
whose time and money
is their own;
the loneliness
when the work is done
when it is too late
you can not reach anyone.

The person you were will die.
I hope the new one is strong,
fierce enough to survive.
I hope she will be content
to lay down next to a sleepy child
sing the same lying song,
promising pleasant dreams
though she sees night terrors lurking
just the other side of dusk.