I wake with a start in the dead of night.
With my throat clawed raw and jaw locked in fright,
I fumble through the dark and reach for the light.
A foreign hand greets mine, though no one is in sight.
Rolling up my sleeve in search of the time,
I halt with a jolt as the grandfather clock emits a chime.
Then descending the stairs, a chill dances on my spine.
I pretend that the creaking follo behind is all in my mind.
Taps running; I douse my face with a cool shock of water.
My stomach knots like a cow’s prepared for slaughter.
Though my vision is blurred, in the mirror I caught her
Behind me, a blood-drained face all twisted and tortured.