Memory II

Memory II

Tortoise shells were raining from my forehead today.
I almost caught it: nose bleeding, head thrumming.
The bedclothes were all twisted up
my toes’ thick nails were pounding beneath the skin;
there was a mess of daisies and lilies and snapdragons.

“What?” I said to you. “What!”

but there was no reply:

Rising, deciding to dance:
placing those pink buffalo slippers upon my dainty feet.
It was there you made your mistake:
underestimating my resolve.

“This ring: take-it, take-it.
“I beg you: take it
“for I wish to blow away in the wind.
“My black umbrella catches
“and I float away from you forever
“among lands of spice and dreams-made-reel.”


I have a memory–I no longer know is true–of waking up from a dream with a nosebleed and   writing down something on a piece of paper that later became this poem. I think it was a pretty strange dream.

The original is long gone. I revised these poems so many times. I used to carry around this 3.5″ floppy disk with my writing on it. I’d load it up and tinker away at them, over and over and over again. It became a kind of comforting ritual, I suppose.

For me, the ending of this poem conjures up the movie Mary Poppins. The “dreams-made-reel”, I know, made it through every revision.

Perhaps the “you” in this poem was whoever sent me the dream and the nosebleed. These days, I have real people to greet me in the morning. Much improved.

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