What Gives Us Nightmares

This is for FOWC: Scream. I am also sharing with the Writers’ Pantry. Special thanks to Mr. Bump for reminding me about how terrifying this painting is and how it gave 10-year-old Jenna at least one nightmare. I wrote a free-verse, almost stream-of-consciousness, so…here you go. 

Edvard Munch, The Scream

Consider “The Scream,”

that disturbing painting,

so unsettling

it gave this child nightmares. 

Consider how Mr. Munch

may have painted it today,

if he were living —

horror of art “nouveau normal”

The orange sky is surprisingly

accurate, as is the conspicuous

absence of most

others — uncertainty and anxiety

Are certainly closer

companions — but he’s not wearing

a mask!

this dehumanized creature needs

A face covering,

so no one sees his scream,

though we hear it

screeching, reaching from 1893. 

7 thoughts on “What Gives Us Nightmares

  1. Even back then there would be plenty to scream about. Sadly today we now see that is still true as the Covid crisis wends its way across the world and then comes back for more of us again.

    Like

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