When Nightmares Reign

Written by: Sherry Asbury

When I was just a little girl,
no taller than Daddy’s knee...
there were lakes and forests,
wildlife as far as eye could see.

Deer had no fear and roamed
our garden for a morning snack.
Bears came down for garbage cans,
bears red, and brow, and some black.

We had a half acre garden where
our food supplies were always grown.
The women filled canning jars all day,
till the root cellar shelves would groan.

There was a clothes line for every yard,
where sheets and jeans waved in the wind.
In winter the laundry would freeze so hard,
Daddy’s overalls would not fold or bend.

Eisenhower can through our tiny town,
resplendent in a Ford convertible of blue.
Not a care was given for terrorists...
they were something we never knew.

Montana was a peaceful place for a child.
No pollution for tiny lungs that were bad.
No crime sprees anywhere ... cep’t
wild boys who on Halloween went mad.

But years passed by and I began to see
things were changing wherever we went.
Moved to a city where things were spread,
but still left room to pitch a camping tent.

Sixty years passed by, living leaves us blind.
The changes came slowly, sprawl and blight.
No silence to be found anywhere even on
a starry spring and sweetest warm night.

Murder was a scary word, and when it was
in a newspaper, print was half a foot high.
Then little by little the numbness came,
and it’s on every paper box we pass by.

I worked my life away and grew older
as each year left its calendar mark for me.
I felt the discontent rub my very soul,
as I  grew less safe and far less free.

Came a September day we call 911...
I watched with horror as all of us were to do.
All at once fear was a hovering shadow 
that turned my life from content to a dark hue.

No longer do I feel safe...I wait for the siren call,
when some half-crazed zealot will send more planes.
And when those planes fly over, I tremble in fear
of the nuclear bombs that on this land reigns.