(From an assignment in Creative Writing class - late '70s, at Lamar U in Beaumont, TX)
A Night of Dreams
Sitting in great Aunt Edna's parlor
Sipping tea in antique cups
Seeing the cup shatter in my hand
As the parlor slowly dissolves away
Sitting in the classroom while
The younger students discuss
Their plans for the coming dance.
I know how much
I want to go but my
Aunt Edna has my party dress.
And it's ten o'clock the dance
And now I'm running to her house
I ring the bell the door opens
But it's my ex, not my Aunt Edna
Who's standing there telling me
It isn't ten o'clock at night,
But ten in the morning.
The dance is over.
The house was small, the furniture
scant and functional,
but the windows!
The windows were everywhere!
Letting in light and clean fresh air.
(Outside my brother pitches his tent,
cooks breakfast over an open fire.)
But mother doesn't stop out there.
She comes inside.
This woman dressed in silks
And furs casts shadows and disdaining glances.
She stands there,... towering, and she speaks
"Where is the dining room?" she asks.
"There's a table in the kitchen."
"Whatever did you do with your rugs?"
"I gave them away. You see, I like the floor."
"I simply cannot understand
you had so much a lovely home
a gracious life,"
"I wasn't happy!"
The voice goes on in garbled words
I can no longer understand
'til I'm awake, whispering a scream,
"Let me go.
Let - me - go!"
The building forms
in front of me.
I watch its lines and angles
I am a budding architect
Growing taller, then smaller
Searching for correct proportions
of size to content and form.
Ann Levingston Joiner