And I Do Dream

Blanket hanging out on a window ledge,
sheets scattered like faded cumuli—
if clouds could withstand a Bendix washer—
Aunt Nancy’s bedstead and mattress
is exposed to its history and its geology
and a promise of painful demolition,
should the current victim awaken.

The lathed abraded spindles of head and foot
rack the tortured frame of Nancy’s mattress.
Black and white ticking in narrow stripes
count themselves down from end to end,
like sullen angels with dirty faces.

Black and white stripes seem to bend
around the lumps in the mattress like
plow furrows in Nebraska hills on a day
that beckons a leprous green thunderhead.

Untenanted, the mattress fails to betray
the pinball field of freed spring tips,
but I know as much of where they are
that when I lie down tonight I will not
need to think ahead where I will curl my body
to avoid the bare point that, avoided,
will give me to dream in a pattern
of falling that gives the idle dream purpose,
the flight for freedom among piloting clouds.

And I do dream, and I do set myself free
from the bonds of what the mattress
has no choice but to mean for me.
But I also dream that it will come time
for me to dream at last of what will come
of my wings when the next spring
sizzles into my discoloring horizon.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.