Insomnia Poetry

Raising Anchor by Cathy Wittmeyer

You thought I fell down the stairs the day
you found me collapsed and screaming
where I stopped on that stone spot in surrender.

My desire to be buried whole
—cold shovels full of slate on my
back and exhaled steam in my lungs—

dissipates with you. You breathe oxygen into my
world like a tree’s crown and feed me chlorophyll
to root strong, fill my limbs with windsong.

You anchor me to this ground, Darlings.
If not, I’d be grinding gravel in my teeth
tormented by unpeaceful sleep. You hold

me in fields strewn with aster graced by
grasshopper and honeysuckle borders
lifting monarchs with their scented warmth.

Close my eyes with one hand, take mine
with your other, lead me to these places.
Untether my sandbags and let me rise.

Cathy Wittmeyer is a poet, mother, lawyer and engineer from Buffalo, New York. She works in Dornbirn, Austria. Her poem “Possession,” received an honorable mention in the 2018 Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize. She earned her MFA in poetry from Carlow University in 2020. Cathy’s book, Knotted, was a finalist for the 2020 Broken River Prize. She is the founder of Word to Action, a climate-themed-poetry retreat and performance in Liechtenstein. More at