In March 2020,
I had a dream
that we all fell asleep for three years.
When we woke up,
we remembered that not all of us woke up.

Our friends had slipped away in the long
grey night
down a hidden staircase and across
A deep lake.

They are dancing now.
A disco on the head of a pin.

Now we are bestirred
Missing that which escaped through locked doors
masked like a thief.

The normal pace of days –
we just can’t seem to get the hang of it.

Lost in a wood where the trees have leaves of silver.
Snap off a twig.
Could be useful later.

and as tired as a child at the fair.

So tired
and afraid to fall asleep again.

With the masks I could see your eyes smile,
but not your mouth.
Now I see your mouth smile, but it does not reach
your eyes.

Let us wander a bit further along
where the trees have leaves of gold
and the faint thump of the dance floor is heard.

Let us say the name
of each one we have lost
or lost track of

Let us say the names of those who suffer
riddled with fatigue
unable to stand up for themselves
laid off
laid down
laden down.

And now I say
your name.
To honor you
and your sleeping
and your waking
and your smiling
and your tears

And the crumpled up bit of ambition that’s still in your pocket

And the loud thump of your endlessly loving heart.

We are here to learn a new way
maybe gentler
Maybe hungrier.

We’ll travel together to where the trees
sparkle with diamonds
and we’ll wear out our dancing shoes.

©Sam Bennett

Photo by Andisheh A on Unsplash

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