Friday, January 23, 2009

Poem about Dreams and Family

In My Dream

In my dream my mother who has been dead fifteen years
helps me take the fish hooks out of my shirt

after I retrieve boxes and boxes of music
from the garage where I left them years ago.

In the dream the boxes are piled where
my father kept his tools, under a ladder

to the attic that was never there when I was a child.
It is the house where I grew up and the hooks are not easy

to dislodge, my mother says nothing, but the music is in good repair.
I am excited to find some singers I have forgotten

I owned. The dream comes after a week of dreams
in the middle of months of grey snowy weather

and one day, yesterday, when the sun
made us feel like mole-people emerging from our caves

finally into the frigid air.


Yesterday I talked
to a young man who has manage to fence in his beasts

but has friends who have succumbed once again to theirs
and without admitting to it he talks about the fear

of his sick tigers coming out to tear him up again.
He says that lately he has had many dreams too

and we speak of tomorrow, and spring, and building
walls against the return of monsters

and living even if they do return. I say: in my dream
my mother is kind as she unhooks me and does not even

tear my shirt. What does this all mean?


I wake
in the dark again, not long before the alarm and wonder

about all the people I work with who must stay angry at something
just to keep themselves from being swallowed by the grief

of it all, the wars, the torture, the little losses
every day at work set into the cloth of our unconscious

and in puzzles of bare trees outside the empty houses.


In another dream
I only now remember, there are the flowers my mother grew.

None of this is easy, I tell the young man

but you might be able to do it.
We have coffee and laugh.

--- Bob Vance

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