The Flying Dream
At breakfast you tell me your dream:
You are swimming in the ocean.
It is warm and calm. You move
effortlessly, like a ray.
the way I fly in my dreams
Soft water glides along
your skin in a caress.
You shimmer. Kelp touches
you like a lover’s fingers.
it’s becoming my dream
You have no need to breathe.
Amazing fish, coral, sponges,
anemone all welcome you.
The undersea joins you in dance.
like the music in my dreams
But when you surface you see
only water and sky. No waves
point the way to an invisible
shore. Nobody comes to
where am I?
your rescue. Nobody hears
the calls you don’t make. In
the giant ocean you find yourself
lost, alone, complete, serene.
At the Movies
You walk into the movie late.
You are not sure why the tattooed guy
is so angry at the old guy
who might be his father,
and why he winked at the girl
on the elevator.
Not sure who are ex-lovers,
who the tattooed guy is whispering to
on his cell phone,
why the cute blonde is mocking him,
or what anyone does for a living.
Everyone seems upset about something.
At night they all meet at a restaurant.
“You can’t get away with that,”
the old guy says.
The others seem to agree.
His apparent wife nods, drains her glass,
and heads for the bathroom.
They all leave. It’s raining. They go off separately.
You feel you should be taking sides
and check the lighting and music
for a clue about how to feel.
This happens to me every day.
Everything We Need
The deer snorts and I turn, in my hand
a just-sprouting-legs tadpole moments ago
raked from the pond while I scooped
string algae, and as I glance from tadpole
to deer’s antler nubs, reddish coat,
flanks thin from a cold spring, and he
stares back at me, bends to nibble
tiny buckthorn I should pull from the woods,
and he grazes past the poison ivy I sprayed,
ferns moved up from the fen to behind
the hickory tree, and I say, “Stay, but
don’t eat the flowers,” the cat emerges
from behind the woodpile, creeps
closer to the buck, who looks from me
to the leaves to the approaching cat
and then back to the leaves he snatched
from the redbud we were hoping to save,
and his jaw moves narrow and loose
as he stares, chews, stares, looks back
at the stalking cat, lowers his nose to her,
a tawny white calico blending with
the reddish tan deer, both enclosed
in deep green shadows, dark brown
path and woodpile, vertical rainbow
of gray, brown and green trunks,
diagonal sunlight slicing the air
of our woods, and I balance
our whole life in this one moment
then drop the tadpole into the pond,
and the buck carefully walks away,
lifting his feet high, and the cat
follows him, until all that remains
is everything we need.