I dreamed the old man last night
Driving cross country
road turned north,
and as in dreams, no one noticed,
the shoulder crumbled
like a leaf we fell
where the road went on without us.
In the logic of dreams,
I remembered the old cellar holes on the island.
Jumble of mossy bricks where the chimney stood,
piles of laths and plaster all that was left of the walls
a few old bottles where the pantry shelf collapsed
shards of wavy, bubbled window glass.
As children, we used barrel tops for shields and laths for swords.
Later, when all that was left was stone and glass,
I scavenged the long granite sills,
using scrap for fulcrum and lever,
I walked them to new locations,
tracing garden beds or marking new foundations.
In dreams and in the end
only granite truths and questions remain.
I felt the old man ask me,
Are we there yet?
So it comes around,
though I never felt us switch places.
What was there to say.
All the doings done.
The road we could have been on
far away as the sky,
only hard bottom at hand now.
Later, as with dreams, only the scraps remain.
Like the sills perhaps, hewn out of bedrock,
Reminders of all we had,
the simple life, though the craft it beyond us now.
Sadly easy to sing of dreams,
how we were all contenders,
for a time.
Knowing that we could have walked out together
maybe not the way we planned,
but certainly not hemmed in on beaches and hard bottom,
waiting for ships to carry us away.