mercredi 8 juillet 2009

The Dream

Moineau, age 3

The dream had me by the tongue

starting just after memory
and by the balls when I
turned 4 and I turned it
off for good, whatever use it was
I don't know and
should really care less
but it haunts me to this
day: the anima-animus

It started oddly enough
just after the light was turned off
and I turned it back on in that
bedroom landscape of scorn

where Captain Kangeroo was vampire
and Casper was not a friendly
ghost at all, not to little girls
and both of them performed
operations and tore out hearts
through rib cages

So, light on, I swung my
little legs from the sheets and
blankets toward the floor
slipped out of bed and
headed for the bathroom
I only had to wash my hands
but being very small, I
needed a stool, a little red
three-planked step with the
trademark still on it, in order

to reach the handle and faucet
and I did this several times
a day without incident
but in my night-time world
I was scared and skinny cold
and in a whole lot of trouble

I'd step up, staring at my hands
and reach for the soap, then
slowly looking up, knowing
she'd be there in that
silver-throated mirror
force myself to
look at my reflection, knowing
full well I would not be there, but
she would be instead
the black-faced girl, my
animus-ghost, with matted
hair and giant mouth, and we
both would scream, big
and round, a chorus of
echoes that woke me up loudly:
and scared out of my wits

for many breathless minutes
I'd remember that i dreamed
this every night, just when the
light was turned off, and it went
on for month after month
I outgrew it

Yet, every time I stand at the
in bathrooms, I always
expect to be shocked
always know the hard knock
of animus on the heart
and just hope I'll wake up
wake up to my adult life
as one

5 commentaires:

Mary Stebbins Taitt a dit…

WOW! Powerful, scary and real. Jerks me back to childhood!

I dreamed of wolves at the door and for years, I thought they were real.

I had mirror dreams, too, but I remember being older . . .

I wrote a story or two about it, will have to find them.

haze a dit…


enudelman a dit…

Laura, I really like this. Like all great memory poems, the images are palpable, and who can't relate to a childhood dream that mystified. You've crafted a powerful ending which brings the poem out of dream and into experience. Excellent.

Stirling Davenport a dit…

Visions of Kali at such a young age ... no wonder you had to explore the world of Hindu mythology. Great poem that makes the heart beat like a four-year old. You inspire me to write about the green monkeys that so terrified me as a child.

Jan Hersh a dit…

une vie passee...peut=etre...
je suia d'accord avec Ed - his comment