Upon Waking

by Valerie Bacharach

This is how dreams work—
puzzle pieces that never fit, a familiar voice
filled with empty space.
The way she dreams her son, always young,
or her mother, healthy and smiling,
or her father who remembers her name.

Yet no matter how hard she tries to
grab a transparent arm, a translucent hand,
they elude her, leave
vague aches, cold bones,

leave her shadowless in the early morning, light
just beginning to appear.


Valerie Bacharach is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops. Her writing has appeared or will appear in: Vox Viola, Vox Populi, Whale Road Review, The Blue Mountain Review, EcoTheo Review, Kosmos Quarterly Journal, Amethyst Review, On the Seawall, Poetica, Minyon Magazine and One Art. Her chapbook, Fireweed, was published in August 2018 by Main Street Rag. Her chapbook Ghost-Mother was published by Finishing Line Press in July, 2021. Her poem “Self-Portrait with Origin Story” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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