I had two dreams. The first,
it was the last night on earth.
I was meandering through
a crowded pub, careful not
to spill the pint in my hand,
and I sat opposite my father
at a round table, a dimming tea light
between us, and I leaned closer
to hear his words drowned in cheers
of the carefree locals making their final
moments the best they could have.
My father, he tried, but said nothing,
and his breath came through his lips
fragmented, like spokes cutting air.
The other, I was old, wheelchair bound,
and I was being pushed around the garden
of my childhood home, stopping at the lavender,
the tulips, the roses thick and neatly arranged,
the birch I planted at ten or twelve, which was
strong and white as parchment. I was happy,
knowing this was my end, eating dark chocolate
as a last dinner request, hooked on morphine.
I don’t know who was pushing me, they were quiet.
We chased a melody, some song I remember,
faintly, not knowing if it came from the pond
or the shed, the old gate or the flowerbed,
what seemed forever, us tailed by some
great muse of wood or stone or steel
and then I woke. In cold and sweat.
A gentle bawl of winter wind came down
the flue, like the voice of an old relative I had,
a name I couldn’t place,