Note: This poem is in my third book, MORE, https://www.amazon.com/dp/193619600X/?tag=barbaracrooke-20, which has poems about things I’d like to have more of in my life. However, this dream, not so much. . . .
Everyone has this dream one time or another:
it’s that math class you signed up for but forgot
to attend and now it’s the final, white test pages
spread out before you, but you haven’t the foggiest
where to begin. The formulas are unsolvable,
unreachable as the chalky clouds smearing
the horizon above the vast blackboard of the sea.
It’s so quiet you can hear each minute tick by,
as frantically you search your memory
for the answer that isn’t there. Or there’s that other
dream, the one where you remembered your books,
homework, the essay you wrote late last night,
you just forgot to get dressed, and there you are,
naked, your white body a plucked chicken
on a platter, everyone’s laughing, and there’s
nothing you can hide behind, no way to cover
the cellulite, the lumps, the bulges. Which are so much
like these clouds, fat and puffy, that slowly traverse
the sky. They don’t care who passes this test,
don’t measure their bodies against each other’s.
They swell with water vapor, diminish with the wind,
bleach white with dazzle and sunsplash. White, the memory
of itself, what you see before you fall into bed at night,
into the arms of sleep, or the long tunnel you swim through
on that last journey home.
--from my book More (C&R Press, 2010)
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© 2019 Barbara Crooker