Monday, April 5, 2010

imagined night in the house of my grandmother

a gradeschool friend once told me that when
you are running in a dream, wherever you
run to is your real home, your place of safety.

now, not fleeing some fantastic terror: a witch,
a kidnapper, a runaway truck, but the tangible
and mundane terror of failure; a bleak and open
future, I go to spend the night where I felt safest.
In my grandmother's house.

I open the door, disarm the alarm and enter
into your living room as she left it
floral couch and lace curtains
a bowl of peppermints on the table.
The fridge is well stocked with the things
I love best:
carrot cake and vegetable soup
and after one cup of tea my lids begin
to grow heavy, a wash of sleep calmer
than any I've known lately. I climb
the stairs to the bedroom where
Papa and Granny lay side by side
for some fifty years.

All night the golden anniversary clock
chimes to mock my awakeness, singing
at the hour and the half
you should have known
you should have known
you'd be awake here
and alone.