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  • Writer's pictureDon Rearden

Last Nightmare

the big bad wolf appeared

at the edge of the ranch

beyond the barbed wire

my cousins playing baseball

Greg pitching

Jerome at bat, Joe squating behind

Rich at a pile of rocks, third

Rosie in right, by the ditch

I yelled, "WOLF! RUN!"

from left field

mitts, ball, bat

dropped where they stood

I ran, too

as hard as I could

the safety of my uncle's house 

an alfalfa field away

a red pickup raced 

out from the front 

Greg or Jerome driving

ten or eleven years old

I jumped in the back

tailgate down

just in time, saved

but the wolf gave chase 

I held on, bumpy gravel roads

steep hills, the wolf closing in

my nails clawing at the truck bed

trying to keep from sliding out

the road twists and turns, bigger hills

the incline too great

I begin to slide out

as the wolf leaps

I awake, trembling 

rise from my bed

pillow in hand, make my way

to my parents' room

where I settle onto the floor

and will myself back to the dream

back to the wolf

only this time, I am armed

the wolf gone, forever

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