A free verse horror poem
Eyes open but I cannot see.
The air is hot, stale, and close.
Arms pinned to my side.
I manage to free my arms.
I force them to slide between my chest and something solid that presses against me.
I reach above my head.
Another solid object.
Beneath my head feels soft and smooth.
I try to move my legs.
They move an inch or two, also held captive by this mysterious object.
I run my hand over my face to feel if my eyes are open.
My face feels odd, clammy.
My eyes are open.
(Why can’t I see?)
Something is desperately wrong.
A scream escapes me.
With balled fists, I attack this thing which imprisons me.
Legs assault it like jackhammers on a sidewalk.
Fury and fear fuel my fight.
But endurance is not within me.
I am defeated.
My unyielding jailer silently mocks me.
Deep breaths longing for air are met with nothingness.
Hands, feet, and lungs all sing a chorus of pain.
I claw at my captor as desperation claws at my mind.
I scream for mercy.
Scream for release from my tiny prison.
My tiny death row.
No last meal.
No prayer of absolution.
Merely unfulfilled gasps of empty lungs.
Spots before my eyes.
Tied down to a bed with wheels.
My ears capture snatches of conversations.
“…just passing by…”
“…thought we heard knocking…”
“…Miracle he’s alive…”
(What does that mean?)
Sleep eludes me.
Each night I pursue it.
Each night it slips away.
My eyes betray me.
Heavy lids send me back to my tiny prison.
The air feels hot and close.
It haunts my waking hours.
Calling me back.
Doctor proclaims my lifelong death sentence…
I’m drawn back.
Back to the forest of concrete stumps.
Back to where my prison lay.
They call me ‘caretaker’.
I care for the names of the forgotten.
Each day I roam the concrete paths.
Fear is my constant companion.
Each day a single question burns in my mind…
(Do I hear knocking?)
Line count: 87