A thin mist sprinkled fine moisture
onto freckled skin, my hair
swelled with liquid gems as I held a
child’s fragile hand in mine;
I, the mighty protector.
The predator stepped with ease through the flesh
of a leaf-scented dream. Dressed
in guise of kind benefactor he offered food
and a dry place to stay.
Details of the walk of gloom which led us to that hellish room
lie shrouded in my mind, yet
still I hear
the grating click of iron in the lock behind me, as I surveyed
a dishevelled bedroom scheme, still I feel
the shock of his punishing kick
to my child’s shins, the sharp slap across the face as he spat
an accusation of laziness, and demanded
my son clean the place. On a naked
mattress that shamelessly displayed
a sordid history in every thread of stained ticking
two women, each with a young son, lay passive
their stoned eyes betraying
blurred focus while slack mouths
slurred flattering words;
burred crumbs scattered by the vanquished,
to placate the jailer.
I silently swore at the
folly of my faith in generous acts; we three females
were slaves, captured for bawdy sex, while our children
were taken as drudges of a another sort.
Finding us all trapped, I began to hatch a plan to stab
the villain in the back, smash the door and
make an escape, but as I glanced around I spied a
silent man crouching in a corner, almost
screened by a drape, his forlorn gaze aimed
at the floor. Turning in his direction to determine
what role he played, I saw his face, the face
I see when velvet sheets of sleep gently envelope me;
the face I’m sure I’ve adored for centuries and more;
the soul-mate I have always known and yearned for.
I knelt before him, and as our eyes met
he recognised me. Our mutual joy
erased all fearful thought.
I reached for him,
and our lips joined.
In fuming rage, the predator
pulled me from that short embrace. He threw me
down, and leaped upon my shuddering frame. In his eager haste
he tore my clothes while needled fingernails
clawed blood from my veins. I fought
in vain against the filth and pain as he came
closer to forcing his way into me, my
feeling of degradation reaching a peak. With a jolt I
woke to find myself at home, the ghost of
ravaged rags and ravening attack softened by
the honeyed phantom
of a loving kiss upon my lips,
but as I rose to consciousness, a searing surge
of grief and loss
swallowed sweet relief.
I’m not sure I want to analyse this particular dream, but if anyone out there feels like having a stab at it, be my guest… and maybe you can give me some clue as to who that idealised dream man is. I can describe him, if that would help… 🙂
Words for Peace #3
Norway and Sweden share the same word for peace. It should be an easy one for English speakers to learn, since it’s a commonly used masculine name – and it makes me giggle, since I know a rather angry person who goes by that name.
Swedish and Norwegian:
©Jane Paterson Basil