Nightmare Flower – Robert G. Wertzler

How like a flower
A nightmare can be
It forms just a hint
An innocent beginning
Like a little bud
And grows bigger, fatter
Begins to blossom
Spreading out its petals
Each one unfurling
Revealing a new terror
Sending up a toxic perfume
Attracting strange, mutant
Creatures to its core
Seeming to overtake
The whole garden
And finally withering
In the light of waking


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

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