I have been writing about my dreams here recently, and this morning, I jotted one down to share when something my best friend told me struck me: “No one wants to hear about other people’s dreams. They’re boring and nonlinear and make no sense.”
On rereading the dream I had written this morning, I saw his point: my dreams are boring. Aside from the ones I have that feel more like visions, my dreams are generally only interesting to me.
That being said, I will be discontinuing my dream series.
Pretend a person or a moment in your life is a moving box you’re unpacking as you move into a new home. What do you unpack? How tenderly? Where do you place it? What do you realize you no longer need? What do you realize you have lost?
(Prompt by Todd Dillard)
Gingerly, I pull the packing tape back and tug the cardboard flaps apart. (Like wings, they spread.) The scent of White Diamonds, floral and sweet, wafts over me, reminding me of a grandmother’s embrace.
I remember burying myself into her as she felt like unconditional love. The way a grandmother’s hazel eyes are soft. I unpack birthday cards with whisper-thin penmanship vowing “love always” and prayers. Gently, I pull out the nail lacquer she always used to paint my fingernails.
My grandmother was a home to me when I felt adrift. I remember the way she always turned on a light for me when I was reading in her den. She’d marvel at my stories, even when my words were bland.
I take out the prayer books and the holy medals. I unfold the comforter from her bed, the thick one that buried us like snow.
I remove her vinyl of the soundtrack to Sound of Music (and in my mind, I hear her trilling arias with Julie Andrews, her warble beautiful and pure). I smell her hand lotion and recall the blue eyeshadow applied every day (until even the dementia taking that away).
Her memories have been packed away eleven years. It has been eleven years since I heard her voice last- I remember that night in the memory care ward, that last night, she turned to me, her hazel eyes watery, underweight, and leaning on a walker, and she said to me,
“Izzy, you look so pretty tonight.”
I lost someone who cared for me and loved me unconditionally. Like a leaf blowing away in autumn (delicate and fragile). Remember the afternoon we picked you up from that foul hospital with the smell of shit and piss and I sang to you a jazz lullaby, thinking you were dying.
Poetry often takes us to strange places-to feelings and actions that are hard to express except through the medium of a poem. To the “liminal”, in other words-a place or sensation that exists at or on both sides of a boundary or threshold, neither one thing or the other, but something betwixt and between. (Prompt by Maureen Thorson)
Abandoned and neglected (in decay from misuse), you swear changes underway.
Prompt: Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely. ( Prompt by Holly Lyn Walrath)
Faded paper bouquets all smell like newsprint but close your eyes and you swear you smell the fragrance of roses.
You vow you have nothing up your sleeve, but the only magic I have ever known is sleight of hand and smoke & mirrors. (You slowed time to show me the romance of slow-dancingalone-with the whole world watching- and dichotomizing song lyrics.)
I knew better.
I knew magicians starved their rabbits so they slipped through threadbare hats all the easier (ribs exposed & thin fur, bulging eyes, even magic has its secrets).
Nothing lasts forever, not even promises hooked on ring fingers, worn at the throat. (I have worn a necklace for years and a scar for even longer than that, but Lazarus still doesn’t rise from the dead.)