Dreamtime Lost and Found

In the Dreamtime Lost and Found
there’s a bubble-gum pink piggy bank
with three quarters inside. I glimpsed it there,
and it was mine, but somehow I didn’t take it.
I hope the Dreamtime Lost and Found
has the journal my daughter lost in my dream,
the story of herself, slipping away in the airport
on her way home from college.

I expect the Dreamtime Lost and Found is
where all the classrooms are,
the ones I can never find
when I need to take the test
I didn’t know I had in the
class I didn’t know I’d signed up for.
Maybe those other rooms, that show up
unexpectedly in a corner of a house
behind a hidden door, maybe those
are the lost classrooms, transformed.

The Dreamtime Lost and Found
might still have my virginity,
but since I stopped looking for it
a few years after I lost it,
maybe they tossed it out long ago.
That’d be okay, but
I do hope they keep lost dreams;
both the hopes I had for myself
and the visions that offered themselves
to my sleeping mind but then
slipped away before I could catch them
in my net of words.

Does the Dreamtime Lost and Found
have the map that shows
how I got from Chang Dung to
Chong Cheng in only four months?
Did I ride the i-Ching?

But what I really wonder is
if the Dreamtime Lost and Found
ever had the door out of the locker room–
the cement block locker room
at the end of all the long halls
where the Man chased me when I was a little girl.
He’s going to kill me, or cut me up,
at least I know he has a knife!
and please, oh please, is that doorway there?

Run, little girl! Hurry!
Run until you’re trapped
and the only way out is to
Wake Up!

Remembering how to breathe–
that’s what matters. Being awake
doesn’t shake the fear out of my bones.
This earthquake of a dream
crumbled the foundations of my world
uncountable times,
all my childhood years.

But at Dream Camp, things happen.
I’m pretty sure the
Dreamtime Lost and Found
hangs around the edges
looking for a chance to toss
a long-forgotten memory into the circle.
A blue shoe. A scar. A man.
What better place to use a quiet moment
to close my eyes, and re-enter
the long cement halls.
The Man, chasing me.
But this isn’t a dream,
and I’m no longer five,
so I imagine myself stopping.
Turning. Facing him for the
first time. Asking, “What do you want?
I can’t really see his face
But I can see what he has.
It’s not a knife.
It’s a golden sphere, a ball of light.
He holds it out to me.
“I have come to return
Your authentic self to you.”

Oh, little girl. How could you have known
that the Man in our nightmares
was working for the Dreamtime Lost and Found
all along?

by Laura K. Deal

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7 thoughts on “Dreamtime Lost and Found”

  1. Look at you! Fantastic, Laura. I love the poem and I loved your presentation of it. Wow! This is a powerful combination of so many parts of your work, of you. I love it. Thanks for putting it out there.

  2. Karen Robinson

    Your recitation really brings special life to the poem, which I loved already when I first saw the words.

    1. This is an incredible poem, Laura…such vivid imagery. I particularly love the image of the golden sphere as the authentic self being returned by the part of myself that once caused me to be afraid.

  3. Of Course, the man has been chasing me…and where the hell is the golden sphere? I forgot to look.

    Oh Laura, what a beautiful poem and you all full of it and it all spilling out of you! Love it.

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