Poetry

Like A Dream

She could stand there for
hours just watching. Days, even years
could go by. But she would still
return
just to see. Had
the leaves changed colors? Was the yellow-ribboned tree
even there
anymore? How many rings would it have
now? So many thoughts, so many

distractions
filled her mind, but not once
was she distracted enough to stop
from wondering, “Did he still

remember?” She swore back then
it would take death itself
to end that moment. Perhaps that is why
she never could move too far

away. His hand down the crease
of her back, his body shielding hers
from the rain, every part of that night felt
so real.

She should have realized,

his whispered promises were
just that, faded words. And
logically, she knew. But there was something about

a cover of stormy clouds and a crisp
September chill
that made her forget. There was something

in the dew on the grass that reflected
promise. There was something in
the sunrise that morning that painted the drunken
evening she never wanted
in the tender pastels

she always dreamed. Standing.
Stuck in a dream.

And it was interesting, but
no one ever did explain
what a dream was when she was younger. Maybe
it was just
an oversight, a part
of what makes us human, something
no human needed to learn. Perhaps
it was just too
personal, the kind of insight that made everyone

too vulnerable to mention. Whatever the reason,
it didn’t take more than sixteen
years for her to understand – a dream
has nothing to do
with sleeping.

She knew
in those pauses in the day when she was
so awake she couldn’t help but
engage, so far from reality
she wouldn’t remember what she said. In those
moments of being
so lost in thought the thought became
real, so helpless to
know

in her heart, she didn’t have to
miss him, but in her memory, she still did.
From the moment

he buttoned his shirt
and walked away, from the moment
the sound of his footsteps overpowered
those lingering
whispers. She knew. Everyone was right –

It didn’t need explaining. It was
a dream. And she was a-
wake. And not a pinch would ever
be strong enough
to startle her reality.

The doctor said she would live in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, crippled by pain; that was thirteen years ago. Instead, Mirissa D. Price is a 2019 DMD candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, spreading pain-free smiles, writing through her nights, and, once again, walking through her days. She is a Huffington Post blogger and emerging writer with publications in Yellow Chair Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Tuck Magazine. Follow Mirissa’s writing at https://mirissaprice.wordpress.com/.

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One thought on “Like A Dream

  1. Pingback: Poetry On My Mind | mirissa d. price

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