365 Poems

They will be floating from my mouth like doves
like bright scarves from the sleeves of the magician.
Look, I am spinning five of them over my head.
It has been a bad dream when I
forgot to twirl one like a flag every day,
to walk into town like a parade
with flutes and drums, with timbrels.
They will be chariots drawn by lions.
They will be gazelles and leopards.
They will fly around me like a flock of birds.
They will be my travelling companions.
They will gnaw at me day and night
like minnows, or devour me whole like the whale.
I will stand among them as among trees of a forest,
calling, these are all mine!
They will tell me secrets.
Wherever I go like the roll of drums,
salvos of guns, rockets kindling the air,
they will arrive day and night.
I will beg them to go away.
They will torment me like gnats,
swoop by like hawks at noon, bewilder my dreams at evening.
They will say, welcome home.

Ann Stanford
from Dreaming the Garden


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