in the dream the girl is five years old, and it is clear that i had abandoned her. she looks up at me with her blue green eyes as if she’s asking the hardest question in the world, and i feel the pressure of whatever it was i had done weighing down on my chest.
kneeling in the wet ground i plant the
the ones i had started on my windowsill in june, the ones now with root bound bottoms all interlaced and overgrown, craning their still strong stems upward to see the sun and i say
that it took me this long to find bare earth to plant them. and the drizzling rain christens their new home.
but they’re not from around here, m, who is 6, says
about the gypsy moths, when i stop him from smashing a crowd of them that we find on the giant oak tree. well, are you from around here? i ask him, to which he nods emphatically, not understanding a connection. but why don’t they just go back to where they came from?! he says angrily. it’s just a little more complicated than that, i say, and we walk to catch up with the rest of the group entering into the woods.
in the dream there are a lot of people on the dock and we are about to get on a raft.
we are told that there is a forty percent chance of capsizing, but we are going anyway, and i am worrying about which part of the journey to prepare for – the beginning or the middle or the end – and so with five minutes to spare i decide to run back to get my tall green muck boots,
but before i sprint off, i point to a large quiet man in the crowd who is wearing suspenders and dark denim work pants and i whisper to the people next to me, ‘see, he’s our guardian angel’
when k and i decide to put on lipstick just to walk up the gravel road in hiking boots and summer dresses to watch the sun set over the lake, and in between catching our breath on the climb up the hill, we sing.
the feeling of alive that is when wind is gusting over my goose bump skin, just after jumping into cold quarry water, and getting out again
almost fast as i went in.
when in the dream my sister disappears from the station and leaves without me for the train, and i am still at the ticket counter, emptying my pockets, scrambling for a photo id, and i can’t find my red backpack, no not that one, i say to the lady at the desk, almost in tears when she offers assistance, and then i am yelling
at everyone, and i am late,
for the train.
as many colors in spring as there are in fall, someone in the circle says and I find myself nodding, agreeing, especially aware of the reds and pinks and whites and greens and soft hues of colors i didn’t know were different from each other until they popped up side by side a few weeks ago.
sitting next to all the seedlings at the living room window before bedtime,
talking to nd and kw about death and
feeling the tang of raspberry sorbet still on my tongue
and the intensity of the
overhead light at the
back of my eyeballs.