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In Dreams

Kim Addonizio

After eighteen years thereís no real grief left
for the man who was my father.
I hardly think of him anymore,
and those dreams I used to have,

in which heíd be standing in a room of people
I didnít knowómaybe his new friends,
if the dead have friendshipsó
those dreams no longer trouble my sleep.

Heís not in the crooked houses I wander through
or in the field by the highway
where Iím running, chasing down
some important piece of paper,

desperate to reach it
as itís lifted in the wake of trucks
or flattened and marked by passing cars,
as itís lifted again to swirl over

a broken wood fence. I donít know why
the paperís so important, or if anything
is even written there.
I donít know where the dead go,

or why itís good to forget them,
not to see them if they come crowding
the windows or trying to lay themselves down
and press along our bodies at night

and ask that we love them again,
that our sorrows include them once more.
This morning I couldnít get up.
I slept late, I dreamed of the single

sheet of paper, which  I never managed to reach
as it scumbled and soared over the grass
and a few flowers, so that I woke
with a sense of loss, wondering who

or what I had to mourn besides
my father, whom I no longer mourn,
father buried in the earth beneath grass,
beneath flowers I trample as I run.