Poem 8, National Poetry Month: Of the Dream Box

Three little boys walk in and out of my days, widening it, deepening it. They help me remember (because, said one this morning, “Mom, it’s because you are so old that you can’t remember”). This is a poem perhaps too quickly set free; but then again, maybe not. I think Ray Newman, the two-year-old to whom it is dedicated, would probably know. (All italicized words are his.)

Of the Dream Box

Ray came to me
with a small yellow thing. He said,
I found it in the dream box. What is
this? It gives people
shoots. Anyway, it’s mine.
That what the deal says:
I can have it.

Mom, put it in my hair.
Does this go in my hair?
Later, we could not find it

anywhere. A messenger
has appeared
to me, and he, too,
came from the dream box.
He always holds his hands—
one on each of my cheeks—
as we fall asleep,
all the sooner to catch what
dreams may come.

Neither one of us
has quite learned
to live
in this shell—
but he, I think,
remembers still
what things to tuck away
and what to set free.
He teaches me again, with the
small things he pulls
from the box,
like the yellow thing
that later we could find–

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