I stumble out of an old dream panicked
about cattle I haven’t checked in months
on a hidden ranch I can’t place, connect
except they were not grazing vineyard rows
with no fences, not loose in town this time,
but on some hard-to-gather rolling ground
you can’t see from the pocked asphalt road
snaking through blond summer foothills.

Last time, they were OK, bull calves
too big to brand breeding sisters, but alive
on good feed and water. It may have been
the turkey dressing drenched in juices,
or the cranberries fermenting fear familiar
that I recognize more than this imagined place
to wait before saddling a horse, loading-up
asleep to tilt at impossible windmills.

I’ve been here before, rusty wire on redwood
posts askew, exploring canyons, finding old
rough-haired families too weak to be wild—
all the guilt and disappointment I need
to torture my subconscious. Too old for that,
I roll over to let my weak knees hang before
testing with a first step towards reality:
cigarette, coffee and a poem for Black Friday.


6 responses to “AFTER THANKSGIVING

  1. John , how wonderful to see your familiar face , you look good . I missed Elko last year because of health , but Bruce and I will be there come Jan. Happy Thanksgiving from Canada , to Robin and yourself .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, dreams aside.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cut woke from ‘bad dreams’ last night too!
    Missed seeing you both this Thanksgiving but was with you in spirit and internal dialogs. LOVE

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael S. Roberts

    As usual, John, reality from the natural world, the real world. Thank you for sharing your unusual and valuable perspective on life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Royal Crown’s wonders 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like when you go that way John

    Liked by 1 person

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