Nightmare by Rachel Baxter

In the moments I will lose,
In the times I won’t remember,
I will pull out my hair and
Scratch at my skin,
Tear at my scalp and
Leave exposed bone free
To kiss tiny molecules of air.

Then, there he is. Hi, Doc.
He’s describing blood and the demons
That crept inside and took
Control of my fingers and nails.
He’s pacing around the hospital bed.

There is a woman with
A gray headscarf
And a greyhound dog
Loitering in shadows and corners,
Following me everywhere when I am alone,
Staring at me through dead, gray eyes.

Her face is a portrait of Anxiety,
Her sad and sickly dog, Depression,
Her scarf is Guilt, her robe, Fear and
I could go on and on and on,
As far as that thin leash will stretch.

I look at my Distress in the eye and
She never speaks and
She never leaves.
She has aged many years
But does not show it.

I drag her by the wrist
Down the stairs and
Out the back door,
Limp as a rag doll, and by this,
I drag her thin, gray dog out, too.
I shut the door and turn the lock on them.

The disposal took little effort, but
They’ll be back in the morning with
A moan and a pathetic bark
To rouse me from my sleep.


Rachel B. Baxter is a poet, writer, and mom living in South Bend, Indiana. She has a B.A. in English writing and English literature from Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana). In 2016, she founded the publication, Poetry in Form, a celebration of poetic form.
Twitter: @rachobserves
IG: @rbbwrites
Medium: @rachobserves


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