Miss Emily Dickinson's Garden (Dream Journal 7/94)


I read Emily Dickinson's poetry in my garden. It is mid-July, shortly after my birthday. On Bastille Day, maybe. Delphiniums, a brilliant blue and purple, bloom against the moss-covered wall.
On the far side of the garden, a child, dressed in lace and red velvet, steps carefully down nine stone steps, stumbles at the bottom, and drops a silver tray with coffee, toast, and marmalade. The blue china cup breaks, cutting the child's hand. Tears run down her face, and blood spots the daisies and sweet williams.
A mongrel dog barks angrily from the gate. Before cleaning the child's wound, I pick up a handful of gravel and throw it at the dog.
I wrap the child's hand in white gauze and pull her into my lap. Brown hair curls at the nape of her neck, and she smells sweet like corn. Whispering "Hobbes dreamed that God spoke to him," she closes her eyes. It is late afternoon, and the sun drops below the horizon. I hear a frog croaking, and the child makes a musical sound of joy deep in her throat, wiggles free of my arms, and disappears behind a blackberry bush.

Sometimes, when she vocalizes, the dog howls with her setting off a terrible commotion