Marvin Lurie

Dream Walking (2020)

On my walk this morning,
thinking about a recently lost friend,
the woods opened to a field I hadn't seen before
choked with purple loosestrife.

A wood frame house,
paint long since sanded off by wind,
windows broken out, doors gone,
stood alone in the field.

I stepped up on the porch,
touched the door frame,
sensed its nails strain and grumble.
The house would not let them go,

and they were no longer proud of their work.
They sent me into an empty front room,
walls decorated by a gallery of water stains
like portraits of ancestors

whose stories were forgotten.
Their faces turned toward the back doorway
where I could see a dried dirt yard
with a rust-flaked standing pump,

its long handle worn smooth with use.
Beside it an empty bucket for water to prime the pump.
If I went to the back door,
the faces would be looking through it,

telling me to go out.
The field beyond was lost in a blaze of sun
so bright it darkened my vision.
I decided not to go there today.


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