Awake from Your Slumber

by Gaby Bedetti

In South Africa paleontologists discover
Homo habilis in a cave; archaeologists dust
and reassemble the bones.

I vacuum forgotten items in the basement:
a sparkly-haired Barbie, her plastic horse,
an assortment of weights, an old clock.

With a sweep of the brush,
the alarm that roused the kids
for years of school starts ticking.

A friend’s poor diagnosis wakes me from sleep–
dust we are, and unto dust we return.
We clean house until the resurrection.​

About the author…

Born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Gaby Bedetti is “off the boat” (“From Bologna to Boston: Immigration Scenes from the 1950s,” Italian Americana: Cultural and Historical Review), a University of Iowa Comparative Literature PhD, the translator of French theorist Henri Meschonnic (Critical Inquiry, Diacritics, New Literary History), and a contributor to her town’s poetry blog ( She married a poet she met at a literature conference in Louisville and together raised a couple of kids. When she is not teaching at Eastern Kentucky University, she hikes, takes photos, and sings in several choirs. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Off the Coast, The Voices Project, The Light Ekphrastic, as well as regional anthologies.