Stanton, Maura

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Dittrich, Lisa
  • Date of entry: Mar-26-1998


The speaker describes falling on the stairs and badly hitting her head--the nausea and dizziness she experiences frighten her, reminding her of the vulnerability of her body and the ever-with-us potential for tragedy. She recalls a friend who suffered a blood clot and had to be rushed to surgery and the details of her father’s last days.


The poem is a reminder of the fear that even relatively minor traumas or illnesses can bring--and a reminder to physicians of the baggage patients may carry with them into the doctor’s office or the hospital. What the physician may see as a discrete event may have an emotional context or resonance for the patient that may affect the healing process or the course of care. In this poem, the speaker’s ordinary day is disrupted by her sudden injury; she lays down but is afraid to sleep, unsure, as she imagines her dying father may have been, of "what kind of sleep" is "lulling" her, "the shallow or the deep?"

Primary Source

Life Among the Trolls


David R. Godine

Place Published