If humans have evolved from ancient apes,
can birds descend from dinosaurs I ask
as, slipping into dreams of scaly shapes,
I let my sleep’s unconsciousness unmask
whatever horrors haunt me in the night
and, shuddering, surrender to my fears
of whirring bats (phantasmagoric sight!),
of bestial fowl (swooping overseers!),
of hounding Harpies (terrible and black!),
hallucinations in a Hitchcock show
preparing for an avian attack
which may occur before I, waking, know
I am not prey, and specters fly away,
while dark revolves into the light of day.
about the author
Betsy Hughes taught English at The Miami Valley School for thirty years. Her collection of sonnets entitled Breaking Weather was winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and was recently published by NFSPS. She is a member of the Wright Library Poets and the Dayton Poetry Circle.