Public Republic random header image

Two Dreams

January 11, 2009 by · No comments

Jill Kelly Koren

Photo: allygirl520

I killed a man,
though I did not see it happen;
I knew I had done it
because a) I was trying to destroy the evidence:
little scraps of yellow paper
with damning information
and b) the desperation I felt was immense;
I knew it was wrong to obstruct Justice,
but a stronger force than conscience propelled me
away from the scene of the crime.
As I held the papers in one shaking hand
and a match in the other,
I realized that it was my own poems
I gripped in my fist:
white sheets mixed
with the yellow strips.

Then, suddenly
my husband and I were traveling
in a snowmobile up a large white mountain
toward the hidden door of a barn
where his buddies had all gathered.
We had to duck to avoid hitting our heads.
I put up my hood, wanting to erase the shame
of the first dream-scene, incredulous
that my husband still wanted me,
but I did not question for fear
my good favor might be revoked.
This is where I would be, he said
(if not for you he didn’t say,
but I heard the words form
in my head as clearly as if spoken
maybe more clearly).

I looked out at the expanse of snow,
ribbed where the wind had whipped it
blue-black where the sun had not touched it,
and the boys began to jump,
one after the other sometimes two at a time
over the side of the open barn
into a wide gorge.

I watched my husband poised at the brink,
leaning into the abyss.
Just when I thought he was a goner,
he sat and slid. Only then did I notice
that the side of the barn
sloped down into the canyon
like a giant playground apparatus.

Most of the boys landed safely,
cushioned by the drifts, except for one.
But I didn’t see him until I had slid down, too,
to where my husband was crouching.
I started to ask, What are you doing?
but then I saw the dark form
and the blood oozing under his black hair.

He thrashed about, whether from the pain
Or the throes of dying, I didn’t know.
I called back up to the barn,
Does anyone know first aid?
Silence answered.

His body convulsed in the snow.
I knew what I needed to do.
You will be my assistant, I told my husband.
I called up to the rest of the boys, frozen in wait,
Bring me towels and hot water,
or old t-shirts, whatever you can find!
I woke, then, poised for action,
gathering the materials that I needed
in my mind.

I wanted to go back to the dream,
so that I could save the life that was mine to save,
to make up for the one I had taken.

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


Tags: , ,

Related posts ↓

No comments so far ↓

  • Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!