Roz Levine

I could never unveil the depths of deep, murky darkness
As I hid far from sunshine, my body craving months of sleep         
You didn’t know of hours lived bed bound, squinting at the laurel
Wondering if that old tree yearned to escape her roots in sleep
My darling daughters, I know you both gathered at my side
Cried, Get up Mom, get up; life is much more than only sleep
My dearest husband, I know you struggled to fill my brokenness    
Stirred oatmeal and brewed coffee, hoping to rouse me from sleep
You didn’t know my nights were saturated in wet nightmares
Fixated on the laurel tree, the noose, my body hanging in sleep      
I couldn’t tell you, couldn’t speak of the pain strangling me
I’ve scrawled these words for you to read in my endless sleep
Beloveds, scatter the ashes of my life beside the old laurel tree
Visit when you can, tell the world Roz is at peace in forever sleep


ROZ LEVINE is a Los Angeles poet who has been writing since she was a girl in pigtails. When she retired several years ago, she committed herself to honoring the creative part of her life that cannot survive without the beauty and power of words. She is a member of the Los Angeles Poet and Writers Collective and has published several chapbooks. In addition her works can be found in books, magazines and on-line sites including The Sun, On the Bus, Deliver Me, MO+TH, Forever In Love, FRE&D, The Juice Bar,Poetry Super Highway, Silver Birch Press Anthologies, Pulse and Blink/Ink. Roz recently discovered the power of the ghazal form and finds it a perfect vehicle for the rhythmic evocation of what she likes to write about, the arduous journey we all must endure to survive as a human being.