Twice now this week
I have woken from dreams
They are filled with meeting new people and
Sharing meals and conversations,
Airports and brownstone neighborhoods.
But I have no idea why Chicago
Though I do have two beloveds living there.
My nightly adventures could not be more different
Than this quiet life,
Near woods and water
In the back hills of the Missouri Ozarks.
No busy streets with milling folk,
Street lights or traffic noise here.
But the dreams feel so real
It makes me consider astral projection.
And I wonder if I should check my pockets
For L train tickets
Or notes written on the back of receipts
From fine restaurants along the magnificent mile.
Heading east on 40
and traveling back in time,
we cross river after river
on sturdy bridges of steel,
where once the crossings were longer
The hourly distance covered now
once took weeks, months, years
of heaving oxen and strong legs.
The Smoky Mountains
blue in the late afternoon light
as we turn off the highway
to a county road.
In a tiny town
tucked in against the ridge,
‘Do you know where we would go to find…?’
We follow directions
and pull into the yard,
greeted by a young father and small son.
‘Do you mind?’
‘No, they rest right here.’
first of my family on the continent,
their headstones surrounded
Surviving the hardship
of the ocean voyage,
cutting the long trail
across a strange land
to this place in the wilderness-
settled in 1698
and died in 1726
on a most beautiful of mountains.
We stay for a few minutes
then head back to the freeway.
Back to the future they could never imagine-
the future made possible
only by their dreams.
***For the Yetts, my father’s mother’s mother’s people.