The Adding We Do in Our Sleep



This is her last ride,sled
the one flat on her belly,
face first into stinging whiteness.
She is arcing
over the rise before the river
where all sleds stop short of the broken ice.
After the flat stretch she hears
the runners she waxed so well
crashing over the frozen waves
and cheering
somewhere up on the hill.
She knows the river
never freezes over
but she will not drag her feet.



Invisible lines scored the world
before brooks and rivers
ran with water.
As God envisioned the Nile,
the Mississippi, the Thames
on the infant earth,
He found himself composing music.alabaster
The trumpet sounded
in what became
the mountains of Tibet
and one by one
the instruments joined
driving the melody
until it burst into rivers.
All the veined things
that God created–
men and women,
leaves and roots,
were symphonies once.
But God also created alabaster,
its beautiful impurities
locked in frozen rivers,
the mute stone a prophecy
of hearts hardening
in days to come.



The twirl of a gleaming baton
almost touches the rim of the dream.
When the march
takes a turn,
something else attracts the eyeadding
lumbering deeper into sleep.
A bracelet winks
on the wrist of a woman,
the light of it blazes,
but cannot look away
from the charms
reflecting a name
stitched in a cloth
framed on your grandmother’s
bedroom wall,
some flowery name
that floats to the surface
washed clean of the thought
and the dream
and the sleep that held you.


Sculptures by Ron Pederson.


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