My dreams wake me

To Charlotte

I

My dreams wake me and a strange but remembered image

Will haunt me until the middle of this day

So that the world about me seems different

Compared with this time yesterday

Has everything been slightly tilted, in time or in space?

Am I still fully now the same?

Was this image a memory or from the future, or is it more

Akin to yearning? A bittersweet reminder that accomplishment

Like satisfaction, is a form of death; better to keep the hunger

For the time, and the place, that used to be, might be yet, or never was

II

In my dream, a choice I made comes back to me

As though I can take it again, choose a different course

Night after night, they accumulate, these images

Of choices forsaken. A freedom taken is a freedom lost

Or they are images of those yet to take? Each choice

Is binary, while the consequences multiply; the simplicity of the act

Is seductive, delightful; I can rejoice in the autonomy of the self

While the complexity of impact lies in wait; the puzzle

That gets harder with each part solved

And the forgotten dreams: where do they go?

III

First thoughts are frozen, guided by fate, events that shaped us

Even as we learned we may nudge the tiller ourselves

Yet those more recent tease and tantalize, their

Proximity draws us in like a siren

While the past hides behind a wall, some windows clear, some frosted

We can see the hands that we cannot reach

Witness events that we cannot alter

Smell a moment that we wish would return

See the chance or the person we yearned for

The sharper the image the deeper the cut

IV

I wonder about you, too, growing up

Without me. Better perhaps, without me

With eyes that look like mine, but do they look like mine?

And at the same world, though different parts

I wonder what you can see, now that I can ask you

I wonder if my dreams are like yours, with some tiny part shared

And we may talk about them some day

And share them; though you have your own, perhaps better

I can look through the window now, at the choices I made

With equal depth and less regret