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Robert H. Guard

My Father's Dream


I feel vaguely lost, as if eternity were unfolding
In the middle of a room I don’t recognize.
In the dream, I search for a light switch, pressing
My palms forward like a dancer creating space.

I’m thinking my old life is just a click
Down a narrow hall to bed and the gentle ride
To morning. My father wanted to be cremated,
But here he lies in an open casket, eyes shut

To a mistake in life. The truth about his death
Is behind a seafoam curtain, where a nurse swears
He smiled at the last breath he couldn’t take.
With his passing came my life, skidding off the road

Into a roll, landing upside down with the radio on,
The dust floating the wrong way. It’s the kind of dream
where I can’t escape. I wait for him to pull me out,
Not sure why, as I reach for his shining face.

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