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Sandra Kohler

His Dream


My husband dreams he’s working in a field where he finds

an enormous tree, so huge it takes several people to surround

its trunk. He wants to go home, get his camera, get his wife,

he can’t do this without walking on a neighboring property

though he tries not to. He’s stopped by the owner, argues with

him, insists there’s a ruling that people can use this path, but     

the neighbor says no, won’t let him pass. My husband protests

he’s almost ninety years old, he wants to go get his camera,

get his wife who’s almost eighty. He’s so angry at the injustice

of it that he starts to weep, wakes up weeping. As he tells me

the dream there are omissions, subtleties, patterns, leaps. As

in all our interactions, interfaces we create facing each other,

we listen to others and hear only ourselves. Listening to his

account, I want him to have dreamt he convinced the neighbor,

found me, brought me to see the tree. I want to be with him

when he sees it, believe I understand what he has found, faced.

In the Museum Courtyard


Boys turn cartwheels on the grass under a sky

of massing clouds. I wish I weren’t here. I’d like

to be on the front porch on Tonawanda Street,

sitting on the glider with my husband, watching

for the coming thunderstorm. It’s come to this.

Durer doesn’t move me. The tiny Van Gogh

sower does. Degas’ painting of his father and

a younger man, musician playing a guitar. Their

faces. The willow in the corner is swaying, tossing

its long branches. The courtyard’s emptying slowly.

An airplane overhead, birds, two young women

talking softly at a nearby table. “It’s just these

two wires,” a workman says. “Okay, give them

a shot.” Is it enough to have looked hard at one

painting I don’t remember having seen before?

The tumbling boys have gone inside. Now that

human young have left the courtyard, the birds

are louder. I don’t think there’s going to be

a storm. Not here and now. Here and now

is always when and where there is a storm.

his dream
in the musuem courtyard
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