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THE GIFT

In my dream about you...

was the way you were
the way I actually am?

Your wounds seemed superficial,
but perhaps all wounds
connect to the core, because
the wounds still bled to excess--
as if a silent well had overflowed
against its own wishes--
the walls could no longer hold.

But I told myself
maybe these small cuts
let flow
what needs release:
a cleansing--a mess,
but nevertheless,
a cleaning--

freedom
for the heart in its cloggings
--its cry, in truth, a cry of joy, of relief

--at least, thatís what I told myself

as I began to feel the burn of my own cuts.

In the dream,
you held yourself together
against a tree--
the tree held you--

and though your eyes had closed
in a deeper listening,
I knew
you could feel me
as I stood there--
     you wanted me to see--

thatís why you allowed me
to walk to you
in our dream--
     you wanted me to see

those rivulets of blood
that coursed down
the cracked bark
to soak into the mossy soil.

I could feel the roots feeding
as the earth fermented
like some beast
deep in hibernation.

I knew then
that you had also given
to the tree--
just as the tree
had given to you.

A shaft of sunlight
then lifted my eyes
and I saw you
in the shades of the leaves--
saw your diverse
veracities of green.

I understood then
why doctors in olden times
believed bloodletting to be a method of healing:
they sensed that life accumulated through pain
seeks release--a release that will then
feed the roots that feed the leaves.

Waking from this dream,
I felt my sadness rise above--
expand into a feeling beyond division.

These dreams of ours
expose--but help close--those wounds
that are so much more
than they may seem.

© 2008 Michael R. Patton      go back

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