by Judy Hall
At night, my house slips noisily underwater.
Moonbeams pound through the cracks, clefts, and crevices of the house.
My memories are waterfalls, jagged with fears and guilt; the fear of having to escape Daddy; the guilt from the suicide of a friend who needed my love long ago and the fear for another who needs it still; fear of the light of day showing my scars – scars from Daddy which cross my body, scars from guilt which cross my soul, scars from my nightly transformation into the fish I become, swimming through this house tirelessly, as if I could escape. But my fate is to swim round this bowl, unable to turn the current or shut my eyes for to stop is to die and I am not ready to die, though I long for rest. I long for it.
I gaze at my children as I swim round them – they are unaware of my wanderings unless they wake and wonder where I’ve gone, their ever-tired mother, but their somnolence leads them back to their dry beds and dreams of adventure. I whisper safety into their ears.
I contemplate my lover, who never stirs. I am fascinated – those without fear and guilt may sleep – but his dreams are unfathomable to me. I long for him but we are a different species. I whisper love into his ear.
Then, just as it does for the itsy bitsy spider, the sun dries up all that remains. I wake from my sleepless night, woman again, and look toward the day. The dry, dry day.
Judy Hall is a writer living in Montclair, NJ. She has an MFA from William Paterson. She’s been published in Linguistic Erosion, Eunoia Review, Literary Orphans and elsewhere. She’s currently writing a novel about a mother raising her bipolar child, based on her own experiences. Her other work can be viewed at: http://judyhall.x10host.com/.
November 5, 2014
Photo by: Gessy Alvarez