marching towards the light
by Rachael Stanford

My dream — wearing a wedding dress
it didn’t fit, the hem was caked
with dried mud, a tattered veil

he, a dank cave,
an old fashioned white cloth
half woven

and he was staring right at me,
like I was a TV program,
he’d been waiting for.

My dream-self was slow
taking in the stalactite ceiling,
the stench of growling
bleating sounds that echo from behind
blocking the room’s only exit — a cavern

“please I don’t have the strength,
you have to hear me!”

SOURCE:  Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book Two : The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books, 2006).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is based on a page from a Percy Jackson YA novel. In writing the poem, I wanted to retain the original feel of the page but change and tweak it to elicit emotions not normally associated with YA. I wanted the source material to play off the found poetry, so that a reader could build a multilayered experience in reading the original piece, the new piece, and the piece without reference.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachael Stanford is an essayist, poet, and playwright from Central Illinois. Her work has appeared in journals such as BlazeVox, Euphemism, and Cool. Her plays and monologues have appeared on stages throughout the Midwest. You can follow her at