Makeup smeared, like a clown, like the Joker

Lipstick askew, eyeliner lying on her cheeks

Like she forgot how to put it on

(She’d never forget that)

I dream about Mom for the third night in a row

Everyone is humoring her, pretending she’s alive

She won’t stop talking about something from last week

As if she was there. She wasn’t. (Was she?)

“That was the worst hamburger I ever ate for breakfast,”

Mom said. Five of us leave the dusty diner

(She’d never eat a hamburger for breakfast)

I start to argue

Dad pulls my arm, shoots me that look that says,

“That’s enough.”

And then we are all walking to church. The wrong church.

I know it’s wrong because there’s standing, clapping

I yell “No!” turn, run away

To where I can kneel, where it’s quiet

Where there are no zombies

Only statues perfectly made up


  1. Haunting poem. I love the ending. Glad you posted it!

  2. This puts me on the floor beside you. It’s dreadful out there.

  3. Oh, my goodness, Megan. SO powerful. So hard. But so good to write it out, to work through dreams with poetry – what a great resource. Most especially for you – but also for those of us privileged to read about it. Thank you for this. Praying for peaceful dreams, and for the ability to process on the conscious level what has been shown you on the unconscious one.

  4. I lost my dad in 1992. I still dream about him.

  5. it is a haunting poem and yet the end, felt like home.

  6. That last line is an absolute killer. Zam. Brings it hard to the ground.
    Wonderful, Megan. And so tough, the grieving.

  7. So much of love and life is mystery. I just sit here, reading, and I shake my head at how stunningly beautiful it is. And hard. The grief is hard and it is beautiful – all at the same time. And that you would open this door and invite us in, is a gift.

    “…heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.” ~Celtic saying

  8. My friend Karen would agree with you about what she calls “happy, clappy songs.” I’m glad you found quiet, even in your dreams. May God continue to help you forge peace in the midst of dark grief.

  9. After I lost my dear grandma, I dreamt about her for years. They were mostly difficult, scary dreams. At the time, I didn’t know to journal them out–or write poetry. I’m glad you do!

    I wish I could put my arms around you and give you a big hug. Guess a “cyber” one will have to do.

    I love that you’ve found comfort in a place you would have never, ever expected…how like our God!

  10. Kneeling with you, friend. One hand on your back.

  11. I can feel the pain and grief in this piece. I really like the last two lines.

  12. I’m just…

    Wishing I was there so I could give you a hug.

  13. “That’s enough” — but it probably isn’t yet, is it? How many times those are my words, trying to end something that isn’t yet ready to be done.

    Beautiful words, Megan. And you.

    With you today.

  14. Oh friend. You know how I get this. My heart aches with yours.