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Guest Poet Catherine Miller


Feeling childish, laying awake
wondering if -- maybe --
that noise that woke me was
the house settling, or
the refrigerator rumbling, or
the neighbor’s dog or
the breath of some ungodly large
and malignant beast rustling my bed skirt,
waiting with patient glee for an errant foot.

Neither rationalization nor bladder pressure
could move me from my bed. No way. Until first light
when I leapt from the bed to the door.

Later that day I crammed
papers, clothing, books -- anything that would fit --
under the bed

where spiders began to breed,
but boogeymen, I was sure, would not.

February, 2002

Catherine Miller's questions:

First of all, thank you for reading my poem. My questions are:

1. Are dashes needed/useful around "maybe" in line 2?

2. The indentation in lines 4-9 and 14 is used to create a sense of mental list-making. Does the poem lose this by using left-justified alignment?

3. I'm having trouble myself trying to figure out the age of the speaker. Does this create a problem with the poem?

4. Any other comments or suggestions?

Thanks again!

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