Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Poem Based on a Powerful Dream

Death Dream

The old woman in my dream said,
“O help me! My shoulder hurts so bad!”
I started massaging the painful cramp
Then hurried to get her a drink of water.

She headed straight for the bed, crying,
“Don’t leave me alone now.
Don’t leave me alone!”

And a crowd of women quickly gathered around her,
Laid her down on the bed . . .
And she quickly breathed her last

In the presence of family, friends, and kind strangers

Who began to weep
As the spirit slowly left the body.

I couldn’t get close to the woman,
Still surrounded by the keening crowd—yet I felt
That I played my part, however small.

This woman was Grandma Hoffman,
Gramma Coughlin, and my own mother—
All at the same time,
The weird logic of dreams.

I wept and felt comfort,
Again, all in the same moment,
Having been in the presence of something


Robert M. Coughlin
November 30, 2009

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