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on most days

By Joan McNerney

on most days i


just want to crawl back

to bed, never come out

become a turtle covered

by my hard shell 


nothing appeals to me

not even food, just coffee

coffee more coffee

to keep awake


another hermit crab

who carries its home

sickened by shorelines

poisoned by oceans


climbing fearfully

thru this year…

dumb-struck by

disease and sorrow


i must keep going can’t quit

but would rather slither off

into some dark cave like

the spotted salamander

Eleventh Hour

By Joan McNerney

Wrapped in darkness we can
no longer deceive ourselves.  
Our saccharine smiles float away.
We snake here, there 
from one side to another.  
How many times do we rip off  
blankets only to claw more on?

Listening to zzzzzz of traffic,
mumble of freight trains, fog horns. 
Listening to wheezing,
feeling muscles throb.
How can we find comfort?


Say same word over and over 
again again falling falling to sleep.
I will stop measuring what was lost.
I will become brave.


Let slumber come covering me. 
Let my mouth droop, fingers tingle.
Wishing something cool…soft…sweet. 
Now I will curl like a fetus 
gathering into myself
hoping to awake new born.


Joan McNerney

Joan McNerney's poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on and  She has four Best of the Net nominations. 

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