Patti Masterman

Dreaming Up Heavens In The Night-Opened Sky - Poem by Patti Masterman

We used to travel miles just to get there,
On bumpy dirt and gravelled roads;
We'd cross the bump-bump bridge, now retired-
You knew you were on it, by the bumpety-bump rattling your teeth.
We were going to the house, the little home of loving kindness,
On our yearly Christmas pilgrimage, to the country.

Cows lived there too, separated by fences,
And old wallpaper bloomed on greasy walls
While clocks kept track of slow moving days,
And stale cooking odors hung about for hours-
But love lived there too
And a kind of floating, unbound happiness.

In dreams, the happiness lives on,
Though the faces now are blurred,
And the wallpaper an uncertain, wandering stain;
And nothing much goes on, every idle hour of the day,
Which nothing keeps track of, but the shifting shadows.

At night the coyotes howled and the dark seemed unnerving,
But you knew you were safe underneath the covers,
Or huddled in the little bathroom, which smelled of Dove soap-
And the tiny nightlight always burning away the hours of the deep
In its dusty, yellowed socket.

Now the house is a ruin, and no one travels there;
The wallpaper melts more with each rain,
And mildews and curls down spasmodically,
Waiting for no one to notice or care.
The ground cover has crept inside now, through covert holes
We would not have suspected could have been there.

The cows are long gone, but the coyotes are allowed in
Though they disdain the inner walls, and keep to the outside.
And the stars look down in clear brilliance, where once stood a bed-
And sometimes- a small child, dreaming up heavens
In the night-opened sky.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 19, 2011

Poem Edited: Monday, January 9, 2012

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