The Dream is About Us

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My mother calls to me
with letters from the earth, from deep
inside a closet, behind curtains

that droop on hangers, dumb
with age. I turn the knob, crack
open the door, crawl

through dusty wings, layer
by layer until I see the box
that once held

my mother’s shoes,
and under the lid rest small bits
of her, cradled in ash.

I try to lift her, but
the box is too heavy. Yet,
there I am, behind me, a grown

woman who can lift
her own childhood, rest it gently
on her lap, carry herself

to a garden where children are allowed
to play with abandon;
where we kneel in grass

that stains our knees a mottled green,
dig with one spoon: me and my child-self
and my mother too,

her eyes awake, her skin no longer blue.
We pass the spoon from hand
to hand until we open

a small hole that widens like an infant’s
mouth, and there, inside we deposit
our box of ash and future.

Listen to this poem:

 

The Dream is About Us by Rachel Heimowitz

 

Photo Door ajar by Eric Milot used under Creative Commons License (BY-2.0)

 

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About Author

Rachel Heimowitz is the author of the chapbook, What the Light Reveals (Tebot Bach Press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work was recently a finalist for the COR Richard Peterson Prize and she has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. She has just received her MFA from Pacific University. www.rachelheimowitz.com.

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