Michael-Ellen Walden


I’d clench my teeth while strange men paced my floor,
attempting to convince them I was dead.
I’d sense somebody opening my door
And hear the grinding echo in my head.
I’d save all of my bravery and renown
For when I’d place my feet on Dad’s bureau
At eye teeth and incisors, I’d look down
And whisper secrets only molars know.

I couldn’t sleep when I was nine years old
So I would keep my night light burning strong.
Some thoughts would wait for darkness, then grow bold
To feed the monsters night had brought along.

The lack of light invites the rotten things–
I got cavities from these imaginings.


Michael-Ellen (Mikey) Walden is a junior studying Theatre and Gender and Sexuality Studies. They are from Paducah, KY.