Death Dream Poem by William Waterway

Death Dream

It is a wind-blown bluish gray day when I awake inside a dream - bouncing in the back of a creaky pickup with two earthy-looking young women - clothes soiled
We pass a familiar landscape - an estate where I have been social
The pickup stops at Alley's General Store
On the store’s weathered porch sits an unshaven old man in soiled blue jeans, matching jacket, mud-stained sneakers - slumped forward - coffee in hand
Rhythms - hurried and slow - percuss hollow over worn wooden floorboards
As I lean against a pillar of pigments – white and green - West Tisbury Police Sergeant, Skipper, greets me: “The road near Mill Pond is washed out, no one can get through”
The day - now a darker shade of gray – low clouds flying heavy from northeast “Weatherman says a storm cell dumped a cloudburst, ” says Skipper
I 'lift off' of the edge of the porch - and fly over the flood zone - moist mud piled thick - overlapping layers composed of brown and gray hues - macabre, sweet- smelling newly churned mud, mud adorned with piles of darkened debris – mud speckled with flashes of rainbows from flopping sunfish – mouths gasping
I grow weary - a soft landing on the East side of the island - a field dressed in ankle-high grass, two horses – heads held high – ears forward – nostrils flared – watch
me climb a stonewall – an Indian vestige of unrecorded vintage
A familiar house - no one appears home – I enter an unlocked door off the main wing
Two steps in – squint into stagnant, shade-darkened, musty smelling room - four large looms to my right – fine tapestries lie waiting for finish – some drawn taut – others lay loose across looms and dark oak tables
Dense bouquet of spun wool fills my nostrils as a white moth takes wing into dark corner
Primitive patterns and dyes catch my eyes
My hand feels fabric between thumb and fingers, the weave tight, soft, smooth
An unmade single bed against corner wall, I undress - climb in

I awaken - “Whose house is this - Ah, yes, some people I know
Sitting in the bed inside the dream -
“Strange to be dreaming of sleeping while I am asleep inside a dream
“It would be more comfortable to sleep in my own bed in my own home, a home where I can leave clothes on the floor, clothes soiled from toil, clothes left on the floor because one more task would be one too much to ask”
I hear sounds through curtained French doors between loom room and main house
The owners have arrived with guests – laughter - sounds of clinking glasses – the sharing of morning cocktails
I slide out of bed and begin to dress - doors fly open - a young woman with boyfriend in tow - converse about when to depart
They stop – wide-eyed
“Oh, ” we’re sorry, ” says the boyfriend, “we didn’t know anyone was here”
Unimaginable to them - I am an uninvited guest
The woman owner hears - enters - “William, what a surprise”
She opens her arms - I walk to her – embrace - I am thrown off when the tip of her tongue flittingly slips between my lips
I grab a piece of luggage to walk the young couple to their car
Outside the door – alone – I stand on edge of steep cliff
The fall doesn’t appear far - faint voices from far below - people on a path at the bottom of the cliff - people as little animated dolls
I step away from the edge - right foot loosens stone - it cascades
An undistinguishable face looks up from far below – from the face - a voice - “Is that you William”
Her Irish brogue sounds like an old friend of my family’s - Florence - she and husband Chris liked playing cards with my parents now long gone
The woman walks to catch up with the others - others who approach a graveyard – they stop - talk - then enter and begin picking white and yellow flowers
“Who would pick flowers above dead people” I ask myself
A voice calls from behind
I slowly turn

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