Poem: Treasure Hunting

Treasure Hunting

There is nothing in the room except the long low table
and the old tattered trunk that sits atop it.

Light comes through the window.
Casting more shadows than revealing the details.

The color is lost. To see it, you have to come close.
To look behind. To open the curved top.

Something stops you. Old dreams perhaps
of death in the attic. Never sure if it was yours

or someone else’s. Nightmares from your childhood
are harder to shake than you would like.

You breathe deeply. Inhaling the light.
Breathing out the fear. Again. And yet again.

And then, your desire for treasure
overcoming the resonance of fear,

you open the tattered lid.

About this poem

I really did have a dream when I was a child of entering an attic, approaching a trunk in the light from a window, trumpets suddenly blaring, a scream echoing through the attic and a certainty of death, though I could not have told you whose. The fact that I can still remember that dream with such detail tells you the impact it had on me.

To quote Frank Herbert – Fear is the mind killer. Fear is what keeps us from our best lives, no matter where we are on our journey. I am not immune.

But at times, I climb into the fear. And I am never sorry.



  1. What a frightening dream, especially for a child to have. Sounds like what they call a night terror, a step-up somehow from a regular nightmare. Also probably shows your creativity! Glad you opened the trunk. – Ellyn Couvillion, Baton Rouge

    • In the dream I only reached to open the trunk, as soon as it started, the trumpets and screams started too. I woke up never knowing what, in the end, happened.

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