Another night that never ends

Sleep’s basket brims with wool,

soft, barely tangled.

Underneath, a baby cloud nestles among the

woven pine needles, a pedestal for dreams.

I watch it float by,

this basket of fantasy

whispering soft sounds

to subdue my unkempt mind.

My barren leg drapes over the edge.

Rain drums against the glass.

Hour upon hour,

I trail fingers through the soft wool,

stroke the cloud.

Gray light seeps under the blinds.

The rain is silent. I give myself

to this soft hour. Finally

sleep comes.



I would watch her hand

The tips of her fingers

So dark.

She held it like Marlena or Ingrid

Her face thin, cheeks concave

On the inhale,

Chin tilted up

Holding the smoke inside

Like a precious gift.

I watched, wanting

To be like her,

To be detached for an instant

From the clutter of the day,

To feel my brain turn up a notch

On nicotine

My concentration like a laser,

All distractions gone.


Be like the Queen of Pall Malls.



Fierce pain grips my neck / I bow to this nightmare / this bad dream incarnate / racks my body.

How much longer will / my mind wrestle / my inner strength survive?

Age grabs me / shaking limbs / crushing strength / grating.

How much longer / I ask myself / my God / until /


Too many of us, I know, experience this kind of pain. Perhaps it does not deserve sharing. But this is one way I try to grab the damn thing, shake it, and make it leave me, even if only for a moment. Or a day.

Thoughts are welcome.

May the New Year bring health and blessings to us all.



Susan DuMond

Susan DuMond

Author, writer, poet. Foster care alum who ‘aged out’ to a BA and PhD. Author of Night writer. Words from the heart. Joy in family.