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January Dream

I woke up from a January dream,

late in the month

when the outside wind sounded like

it could peel back the tree bark

and pull all the warmth

up out of the frozen ground.

When the spring felt too far off to believe.

The scent of the dream

dripped from the fragments of my night,

circling around me

like drops of color in a stirred water glass,

running together in an world of

almost understanding.

I lay still and struggled,

trying to hold the senses of sleep

and find my way back.

For all that it felt vivid in my mind

I could not grasp its memory

Could not tell the why, or how, or where

of a story that was only solid

at the last edge of vision.

Recalling it to my waking self

was like grabbing handfuls of smoke

out of the air.

Even as I thought I felt

its shape and weight,

and believed that I could

listen for its lessons,

my dream fled for good

and left me alone

in the dawning of a winter day,

able only to ground my feet on the cold floor

and go out into the world without it.

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