When I was a child,
I kept a dream catcher above my head,
it's feathered ends brushing
the tip of my nose on the nights
when I couldn't sleep,
when monsters in the dark kept me awake.
in the way a child's brain is wont to do,
that my dreams were stories
from another world, souls escaping
into the fabric of my own.
Each night they would rise from my mind,
curling around the edges
of Doctor Seuss and Winnie the Pooh.
they crept, silent as the stars,
into old clothes and faded dolls,
breathing new life into what was once lost.
And around they would spin,
one after the other,
tendrils of smoke lifting higher
and higher into the night.
my ceiling was the Tuscaloosa Sky
and my floor the dips and valleys
of the grandest of all the canyons.
A bookshelf became a skyscraper,
a trophy a landmark,
and photographs peeled themselves
from the wall to join the dance.
Each night these stories
unwound themselves before my eyes ---
pirates and dancers sang lullabies
and the Velveteen Rabbit mingled with Alice
by the Looking Glass --- and there I lay,
blunt fingers grasping for purchase,
yet never quite able to reach.
As if on a schedule
to which only they were privy,
my dreams disappeared
at morning's first light, sailing
into woven netting and a feathered rim.
Stories rushed to books,
stuffing to animals,
constellations to the brittle popcorn sky.
At dawn, I awoke,
a peculiar clockwork arrangement,
and stared at the darkness
behind closed lids;
above my head, my dream catcher swung
and, blissfully unaware, I opened my eyes.