Four in the Morning

Hidden, unbidden
in the corner of my mind
is a dusty spiral staircase
that only goes up, up, up
to the attic where I keep
all those pesky little thoughts –

you know the ones?

Of my unspoiled youth;
of poetry not laced with lies;

of fond memories of the rubber room,
of which there are two:

1) the Scorpion King has chicken feet
2) the moral of the story is always the same;
life’s short and then you die.

She offered me a Scotch
but it was four in the morning
so I told her I was good
and she left me alone
there in the dayroom
(my face numb from Tegratol)
where I followed the life cycle
of the common fly –
Musca Domestica;
suborder Cyclorrhapha –
and I wept in the face of beauty.

The fly buzzed off
and I wept again, this time
in the face of solitude,
and I regretted passing on the Scotch.

Oh, everybody loves me,
just not for very long.

© The Poet Darkling



Published by: The Poet Darkling

The Poet Darkling is an award-winning poet, lyricist, author, editor, and freelance writer. She is currently working on her fifth poetry and monologue anthology, as well as her memoirs. In 2013, The Poet Darkling had the distinct honor of writing an introduction and closing poem for the short story anthology, “Broken Spokes along the Way,” by author Vance R. Farrell. She is also an esteemed member of several writer’s groups, including Writers-Network, and All Poetry, and was featured in the All Poetry anthology “Rewrite Sunlight” in 2017. Born in Chicago, Illinois, The Poet Darkling currently resides in Northeast Tennessee with her family, her pet black widow spider (whom she calls “Walter”), her imaginary muse (whom she hasn’t named), and her many diverse personalities. Since her childhood, The Poet Darkling has survived all manner of physical and sexual abuse, as well as mental illness, drug addiction, and long-term homelessness, and her poetry reflects this. With a steady voice, diverse subject matter, and the singular intent of helping others not only survive the darkness, but thrive there. The Poet Darkling appeals to a wide range of readers. She speaks for the traumatized soldier, the weary mother, the confused teen, the abandoned senior, the disenfranchised minority, the serial killer, and anyone who has suffered heartbreak, addiction, abuse, mental illness, and even the sting of death – and all in perfect rhyme and meter…or not. Following her own doctrine of “Live first; learn later,” The Poet Darkling is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Poetry at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her B.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry and a minor in Professional Writing, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. The Poet Darkling is proud to be a member of the Sigma Tau Delta (Alpha Pi Psi) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Sigma Psi) honor societies. When she is not writing, or plotting her bid for Poet Laureate of the United States, The Poet enjoys talking to herself, wandering around aimlessly and poking dead critters with sticks.

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