The FAB&PP Poem of the Month for March 1996

Two Visions of a November Dream

i had a dream
back at Amherst
by the shore (it was a dream)
in a room

with old Professor
X as he lay
dying in his bed with
his cat

and lots of people
coming leaving doing things he
could see
out the window
next to his bed

one day he'd say hello
or watch us out the window
others he would
just lay and wait

[we were busy playing stuff]

he was dying after all
what did he care

and i realized in the shower
this morning
i could do that

who was that
not me he was
respected and
accomplished well
past it and content

alert enough

the great room

i was glad to be back
a little alarmed about the
other people coming and
going as i was about
the old man in the

who didn't seem to mind

i had a dream

it was at Amherst again
          at the seashore
          (it was a dream)

in a large room with
a view outside and by
the window lay old professor
a, dying, with his
cat beside him

he was alert sometimes he'd
say hello or watch the
games at the beach

through the window or
he would just lie
there, not waiting, but
knowing, not minding that
my friends and i were

doing things
(he was dying, after all)
and as patient as his cat

an airy room
a square window open
to the air
the view
the world outside

he sighed and rolled
over and knew
as i did that this
was all ok

that would be the

to watch until
you lost interest
to die not of boredom
or fatigue, exactly,
but satisfied
exhaustion of possibilities
surrounded by
your memories
in the dream room
real people
real life outside
the open window

November 1995

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