THE DREAM THAT MADE US DREAMERS
Some dreams take us into our deepest heart,
inside our childhood home,
inside a blood-filled vein, inside a stone.
And when we wake, every dream animal
has become part of us, those that raged,
and those that lapped our skin, calm as sunshine.
Who can understand the power of these dreams?
It’s hard to find a place for them in daily life,
where we rarely speak of what we fear, need, or love.
Our dead ancestors trust what is older than time,
and children and animals know
we are more than our words or faces.
Even small dreams take us somewhere.
Where is mother’s purse? What stranger has parked
in the driveway? Watch out for the wolf!
Dreams know where to find us. They creep into our mouths
as we sigh and snore. They come from the rhythm of our breath,
a broken cup, a tree in the yard, a pin in its cushion.
Our dreams were born with the big dream,
the day the stars and galaxies were born,
and nothing gave birth to everything.
Our dreams take us back where we belong,
for we’ve been gone a long time
from the place where we began.
THE BLUE DRESS
I don’t recall pain, or joy, only the blue dress
I wore, and the door open to the sea,
and the liquid sun across the floor beside the bed,
and our crooning sense of having climbed Everest,
I didn’t know who I was or who you were,
or even what we hoped for, in that slow, rushed,
soft, harsh, pretend, real, world. Even now,
I don’t know how to devour love like a golden apple
stolen from a teacher who gives too many tests.
So tell me what you remember,
and who you think we were,
and I will nod and agree, though I doubt it happened –
beyond the sea, the sun, the open door,
the blue dress, and the dream.
I TELL THE LAKE, THE LAKE TELLS ME
I tell the lake she’s gone.
How she left. Her last days.
Last hours. Last minutes. Last words.
Until she no longer gripped my hand.
“My mother,” I tell the lake.
As the sun goes down,
long sentences, full of secrets,
fears, wishes, and loss,
flow out over the darkening water,
and every wave nods back.
The lake tells me,
I am here, surrounding you,
taking your measure,
weighing your songs and your tears,
and I will always be here,
so keep talking
about who your mother was,
and who you are,
my little one,
my tiny, fleeting love.