top of page
  • Writer's pictureJosiah Lindstrom

Laughing in Monsters’ Labyrinth

I know, 

where you buried—

the Monsters. You buried them in your mind. 

And because you buried them alive,

sometimes—

they speak.  


Fluid rattles,

chest rises and falls.

Chained in Doctor’s labyrinth,

Mother’s life flickers beneath

fluorescent—

lights.


Needles,

numb pain.

Slowing undulation of

lungs, straining to

oxygenate—

blood.


I smell,

liquefying detritus of dank flesh,  

sanitized with a chlorine fog.

Naive, I didn’t 

recognize—

death.


I listen,

“Heparin induced thrombosis,”

blood thinner clotting her body.

“Multiple strokes—metastasized,”

it’s in her lungs—

cancer.


I hear,

nurse prod and yell at Mother’s face,

drooped under fluorescent light,

“Your name? What day is it?

Amy, can you hear me—

AMY?”


I remember,

applesauce and needles,

beeping and hum of bed rising.

Mother’s voice repeating “Ice chip”

like a breaking—

record.


Her brain,

swelling and losing oxygen,

dying as it grew.  Stroke—

 caused it,

bleeding—

inside.


 Doctor offered,

to cut her skull,

remove a piece, give brains room to grow.

Give her time to heal,

glue it back—

later.


Surgeon’s willing,

to operate, but need to stop—

heparin, could cause more strokes—

her life might flow out—

 on the—

 table.


Strokes—

  lobotomize wonder,

grey the world.

If Mom woke, 

she might be—

somnambulant.


I wonder.

What would she want?

Unchecked memory

of Mother’s laughter—

cuts like icy—

 water.


I blink,

a tear, excuse me,

as I remember

Mother’s cackle.

I hear her—

clearly:


“You want

to cut open my skull?

 To let my brain swell?

So I may subsist,

what, a year—

PUH-LEASE!!”


“Remember,

my heart set on wonder,

pilgrimage to Zion for sixty-two years,

plodding life’s dusty highways,

eager to be—

home.”


Father cried,

while I held him.

 Five minutes shriveled, withered me

thirty years. As Mother’s wonder—

and pain fell—

asleep.


In the labyrinth,

we held Mother’s hands,

one each, Father and I,  

as death rattle broke

Monsters’—

 chains.


I saw,

my Mother rise,

and fall and rise again.

She stepped onto streets of gold.


Now Monsters—

 still whisper, but

salted with Mother’s wonder.

And her laughter, like rain,

falls in these dusty—

 streets.

211 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment


Simon Trautmann
Simon Trautmann
Jun 16

Incredible. I feel it. Thank you.

Like
bottom of page