322 Readings | 1 Rating

Gwendolyn

In this dream, I’m sitting in the train station at York or Harrogate 
or some such place holed up in Costa’s for an impromptu picnic 
eating those raspberry biscuits they sell each spring, it’s a rain
and crumbles kind of day—conductors conducting, passengers
passing—and all the while I’m reading some treatise on the state
of the pound and trying to ignore how each person’s bag falls open
spilling out ratty socks and dull razors, lost keys and long-forgotten
hair barrettes, tea-stained magazines and wrinkled letters
lost to the bottom of bags now sprung open and dusting their
contents down the platforms, and that’s when I see you through
the crowd wearing that dress you loved, the one I said looked
like a pile of weeds uprooted, the green one you remember and
the day you wore it, the picnic when you took off your
mackintosh and we set ourselves down, never mind it was hunting
season, and we laughed at the danger and we laughed at the squish
of the ground and we laughed under the rain-washed ribbons
and my hands undid your hair and sunk your hips into the loam-soft
ground and it was our grand picnic until the shot and the doe who ran
through the meadow blood smeared down her haunches
and the doe is you and the doe is me and the doe is everyone running
to catch a train and you are everyone running to catch a train
and as you leave the station I see you moving away your bangs
stuck to your forehead, sweating and ready to bolt.

Posted 11/07/13
Appeared previously in CutBank 79, summer/fall 2013.
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