Memories, mind lurking, oft sleep emerging,
Enigmatic recollections, as much avoided as
Adored, dreams occurring, awaking, within
Mirror I was pale appearing, death touched,
Surf washing over my consciousness during
Morning coffee, butter spread thin over
Homemade granary bread, realizing mind is
Like an ocean island, one coastline sunny
Skies, fair winds, the other fog-shrouded,
Hazard to navigation amongst dark islands,
Haunting memories concealed.
Pre-waking dreams, I recalled my Arctic-
Visiting father bringing gift to me: Army
Down sleeping bag, requiring several days
Of sunlight airing to remove cigarette-smoke
Smell. Once zipped in this dark green cocoon,
No need for bed linens, securely I slept without
Concern for Atlantic Canada winter cold. Then,
Dreams shifted, years older now, father’s foot-
Steps on linoleum-covered hardwood floors
(such distinct sounds), then stopping. I was
Sleeping topless, arm-in-arm with my girl-
Fiend. Memories or dreams within dreams?
I remember my mother and I talking, semi-
Formalities of tea and English biscuits: Did
I like girls or boys, which did I prefer? We
knew the answer: I preferred women, my
First love, an island girl, dark eyes, mane-
Thick hair. Yet, I liked fishermen, lobstermen.
They were oft kind, pipe-puffing, taught me
What they knew, knots to navigation, smell of
Spruce fires on high-sloped pebbled beaches,
Cold waters of deep cod-fishing bays. That
Was me, gay woman, repairing boats, cod
Jigging, wave plowing, keeping weather-eye.
Why should any of this be bothersome? Both
Parents have passed away. Yet, confusing
Dreamt memories arose in waking moments.
“None of this ever occurred,” I blurted aloud
To myself in misty morning mirror. Yes, her
Hair was dark, thick, untamed, her eyes black
As coal. On islands, secrets were lost within
Single breath. What occurred? Tearful, traumatic
Separation. In shame, her family left the island.
In bitch stubbornness, I remained, enduring
Dirty looks, glancing eyes at grocery. Dreamt
Memories, naked on desolate seashores I stand.
Thanks for reading.