To sleep perchance to dream

By Jon Hillenbrand In Poetry

I was walking on a city street that looked like it had been frosted with gray ash. All of the businesses were closed, their windows unwashed. I was looking toward a crowd of people who were heading in the same direction past me, homeless refugees pushing shopping carts full of their belongings through the car-less streets. A man held clothes in a small black garbage bag near his face. Suddenly, he turned and walked straight toward me and screamed, “MOVE!”

I snap awake. It’s dark. The open closet door hides a man standing there. Or it doesn’t. The end of the bed. A closed door. A closet door, straining against the darkness to appear pedestrian. The strange familiar old fear just washes over you at times, but I try to think of it outside of myself looking in. I plunge in instead of treading water. I summon fake bravery and laugh to myself turning on the a/c and smile my way through the anxiety as it evaporates around me. The covers over my left shoulder, I face the pillow and fall back asleep.

What do you think?