Sunday, June 12, 2011


It was one of those dreams of short brown grass,
Like cheap carpet in an entryway to the waiting room of the Ruined Dentist Of Fremont Street.

A tin foil sun shone
Like a child's sheriff badge,
Arresting all
As if we had molasses in our veins, and ill-got trinkets stuffed in our cheeks.

It went on like that for weeks,
Until who we had been,
And what had replaced us,
Diverged so profoundly that as we skittered by, like old traffic tickets wearing preposterous brown shoes,
I looked at you,
Nodded at the shadows,
And said,
"To them, we are the ghosts."

No use in mirrors, then.
No sense in trying to start any more fires,
Though we had become, ourselves, rags,
Melted outlets,

It was only when I found myself alone that grace came.
The path changed,
Became a sea shell road.
There were tree blossoms like cherub faces,
And the weather turned as easily as an old cat in a rocking chair,
From stifling to superb.

Just when I thought I belonged nowhere,
Just when I believed the lying dust I had been living my life upon,
I saw him--
Our uniformed chauffeur, washing the Stutz in the drive under the magnolias.
He tipped his cap,
Said, "Good morning, Miss Anna. It's been a long time."

I'm telling you,
I felt my heart spread out like a rose bush in June--
As rooted,
As beautiful,
As loved, for all my blooms and thorns alike.

I fell down beneath my favorite old tree,
In the lush grass,
Not caring about my white dress.
I couldn't stop laughing, fountaining joy,
And I woke up like that,
In happy tears,


photograph by Rob Hanson for One Shoot Sunday


Brian Miller said...

it still rings sorrowful, having to wake up from going the small touches, the sea shells and cherry blossoms that set the scene of home for one that misses it would truly think of these...and all the analogous imagery in the begining..pip pip miss shay, well played.

Kerry O'Connor said...

You have a most extraordinary talent - what a recreation of time and place, with all the remembered emotion to go with it. Simply stunning.

Mary said...

An absolutely beautiful poem to accopany the beautiful picture. I wish I would have dreams like that!

Claudia said...

this sounds like someone - a couple most probably but for me it speaks of a teenager losing his/her way and even if she/he is still "at home" it's miles from home....maybe it's just me but this sounded so familiar and hit me like a rocket..and then the moment ..just when i thought i belonged nowhere..we spot something or someone familiar and know we're home again and the relief..the rose bush spreading in june (great pic) ...honestly...tears...

Louise Gallagher said...

This is stunningly beautiful and you have one awesome talent!


dustus said...

When love spreads indiscriminately among blooms and thorn... a very beautiful thought.

hedgewitch said...

This takes the lush but somewhat brittle too-good-to-be-true stageset of the photo, puts it in the dreamscape refuge, and peoples it with all the brilliantly-garbed mummers of the psyche. An extraordinary narrative of missiles and milestones whirring by us in the night, wrapped in cinematic flickering light and secrets we don't know how to tell. Just amazing, Shay. The second stanza is something only you could write..and "To them, we are the ghosts.." "tree blossoms like cherub faces..." just excellent. profoundly real stuff.

wurdz said...

carefree times and the heart speaking of love in whispers to small to deny.all combines to showcase a piece dripping with memories all have experienced.loved it.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Simply brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I'm about to leave mine so this was a bit of a tearful read. I'll come back one day maybe

brenda w said...

The voice in this piece is superb. As writer you took on the persona and allowed her to drive the narrative. It's simply beautiful.

Check out this prompt site if you're interested. I'd love it if you played along.
The Sunday Whirl

ileana said...

I loved the line about the ruined dentist...and if only I hadn't cared so much about not ruining my white dresses when I was a kid...I would've experienced more happy tears. This is a sweet one, my friend. Glad I stopped by on this beautiful Sunday to read it. Hugs, Scarlet xo

Mama Zen said...

I adore the image of the weather changing like an old cat in a rocking chair.

C Rose said...

Fantastic imagery weaved in your words.The journey of emotion is really felt in the read, great write! ~ Rose

Lolamouse said...

"My heart spread out like a rose bush in June." I love that line! Is the Ruined Dentist of Fremont St. anything like the Demon Barber of Fleet St.?

TALON said...

"I felt my heart spread out like a rose bush in June--" - there's always a line in your poems (though all the lines are wonderful) that just sets the tone and wraps it up completely, Shay.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Love the story line, but best of all loved the spill of fresh word dances ... like healing water gushing from a new spring! Wonderful!

Patricia said...

You made me think of a Lost and Found. You had me from the start and I found relief at the end. I loved your analagous words pouring out ... the dentist, the tin sheriff star, the cat, and you should see my out of control rose bush right now! You just kept delivering! Wonderful.

HermanTurnip said...

Fantastic narrative! If Stephen King wrote poetry it would sound like this :-)

Ann Grenier said...

Your dreamscape reminds me of Gone With the Wind. The photo is unreal, I think, and the poem captures some of that in the swirling mysterious elements that one cannot quite get one's arms around.

Daryl said...

I wouldnt want to wake up ....

Lynn said...

It seems like a scene in a movie - I can just see it.

ami de manila said...

It is a beautifully crafted poem, one that would make a perfect centerpiece