Early-Morning Nightmare

(journal, 31 January 2019)


I had a dream this morning that was difficult.

I was at a school I’ve been before.

There were people there,

but the overall feeling was impersonal and unfriendly.

I had finished with my errand there, and was looking for the car.


I was in an open staircase next,

up several stories and not enjoying the height.

Nearly down, I came upon a starving child.


The child was is real,

there were yellow sores,

the child looked at me.  I had nothing,

I walked by.

Then there were more children to see, near me and off toward the building.

All were seated cross-legged,

dark, small, open mouths, eyes—irises—covered over in viscera.

Gaping need.

Too weak for crying or much movement at all.

The children

sat and, as I neared,

looked at me.

I guess it was a nightmare.  Except

that there is such need in the world.

I am having breakfast now, continental-style.

Croissants and coffee.

How guilty should I feel?

I need to eat.  I need to drink and

for now can afford to have and make coffee.  Maybe

the children would like me to be starving, too, for company.

But I think the focus is on getting fed.


(now, drafting)

Their focus, tragically hard to say because they could not see, is on getting fed.


C L Couch



Photo: FMSC, Creative Commons BY 2.0

(at) https://unu.edu/publications/articles/taking-hunger-out-of-equation.html

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Rachel Ahrens