The Mudbrick Wall

NaPoWriMo DAY FOUR 4 April 2020

Again, I awoke in tears.

A recurring dream haunts

with a frightening call

not of a fearsome monster

a mere ancient, earth-colored wall,

sheer sun-dried brick, solid, sleek,

set in an intricate pattern, taunts.


Bricks laid out end-to-end

some at right angles

sticking out from the wall

in a matter of minutes

I watched, enthralled,

one brick, protruding, bold,

edged forward as far as it could

keeping its foothold

it eerily came alive


from a chunk of mud

a human head appeared

a round face came into view

truly, eyes opened, lips moved

said something, maybe aloof,

tried to: there was no sound


astounding, the head

was pulled back after a while,

alive a minute ago, it disappeared

roundly flush again with the wall

sucked up by dry mud

no thud, no trace left,

found to have never been


it’s no lie: I gasped, cried,

a scream stuck in my throat

I choked, bereft


half watched another brick

move haltingly

stand out, another face take shape

talk, laugh, a silent movie

till it too, unnamed,

was pulled and vanished


I clenched my fists

before my tear-stained face

why can’t I move beyond

the ramparts of a past?

What’s holding back?

Glue of habits and taboos?

Being lackadaisical, slack?

A wreck from trying too hard?

Mere splinters, shards of courage?

Scant sparks from a worn-out muse?


What ruse to extract myself

from rueful limits I’ve set?

Rather than fret be irreverent

irrelevant to the one I’ve been!

Slivers of wisdom gleaned

weaned from fear,

no more wavering, playing awkward,

stop the shivers,

go ahead, move forward,

be clear, simply be, my voice!


Cause how much more

time am I given

to show my face, find

my place, sing my song?


The mudbrick wall waits

to swallow me.

I’ve known it all along.



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