Last night (or, more precisely, early this morning,
just before waking)
I dreamed about a student I once taught,
one I had recently learned had died
several years back.

In the dream, I took from my wall
two photocopied pages,
captured against the drywall with a push pin,
telling how he’d died in the fiery hold
of a cargo ship. It was a terrible accident;
the photos were all black and white.

In truth, I don’t know how he died.

What did he leave undone?

I ask this, having passed half a century of life some years ago.
Having lived longer than friends, children I knew,
some family.

What did they leave undone?

This morning, I ask myself
What do I have to do today that I cannot do?
Weeding and planting new ferns?
I can do that.
Reseeding and watering a patch of lawn?
I can do that.
Some minor plumbing, walking down to the garden
and picking or digging, then cleaning the vegetables
I’ll cook for our dinner?
Correspondence, accounts?
I can do all that.

Catching up on everything I have left undone?
Not now.
Not today.

"Such Dreams"


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