guilt dream after the second funeral in five months
I dreamed that I lived hand to hearth, on the fruits of my labor. I worked my land and landed weary in my bed as the sun disappeared. I recited the names of the trees and creatures, knew to hook apples from branches before they fell to bruise. I knew my place, the woods beyond, a village at its clearing. I let nothing touch me. Nothing hurt.
I hunted for the sweetest sap in the forest. I plaited grasses to make a rope and pull water from a well. I knew the hymns of woodthrush and tanager, what refrain the river sang in reply. I knew the richness of the soil by touch, where best to sow the seeds. I wandered alone, content in my wild solitude. I had no parents to mourn. Nothing hurt.
Donna Vorreyer is the author of To Everything There Is (2020), Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (2016) and A House of Many Windows (2013), all from Sundress Publications. She serves as an associate editor for Rhino Poetry and has recently retired after 36 years in K-12 public education.