Like many poems in my collection Walking In on People, "Nightmare" was sparked by experience—in this case a thunderstorm that briefly took my family off the grid. (I wish I could say I wrote it longhand, by candlelight, but I waited till the electricity came back on and used my laptop.) For more of my work and for info about Light, the online poetry journal I co-edit, please visit melissabalmain.com.
Your TV cable’s on the fritz.
Your Xbox is corroded.
Your iPod sits in useless bits.
Your Game Boy just imploded.
Your cell phone? Static’s off the scale.
Your land line? Disconnected.
You’ve got no mail—E, junk or snail.
Your hard drive is infected.
So here you idle, dumb and blue,
with children, spouse and mother—
and wish you knew what people do
to entertain each other.
-From Walking in on People © Melissa Balmain, 2014. Used by permission of Able Muse Press.