If I Wake – a poem by Kristin LaFollette

If I Wake

If I wake up to a knock
at the door, I will need to
pull the resin from my eyes—

My partner will ask if I
heard the noise. I won’t
understand what he says
at first as my nerves try

to regain life

after a deep sleep in which I
dreamt of an event in my honor
that I was unable to get to no
matter how hard I tried.

The knocking will stop but I will
get out of bed anyway,
very suddenly the night
before when I was driving

in my car,

my dog asleep in the backseat,
the sound of her breath
with the slow-growing grass
near the side of the road.
I will remember the way my
skin felt full of oxygen and
words. I will think of the

people I heard earlier who
spoke about mothers and
fathers and children and
brothers and nieces.

When I wake up, I will
recognize the teeth in
my mouth as a kind of
faith, a place of

strength and blood.


Kristin LaFollette is a writer, artist, and photographer and is the author of the chapbook, Body Parts (GFT Press, 2018). She is a professor at the University of Southern Indiana (Evansville, IN, USA) and serves as the Art Editor at Mud Season Review. You can visit her on Twitter at @k_lafollette03 or on her website at kristinlafollette.com.

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