Dawn Dreams

- 1948-
Dreams draw near at dawn and then recede
even if you beckon them.
They loom like demons
you tug by the tail to examine from up close
and then let fly away.
Their colors at once brighter and less bright
than you remembered, they
hover and insinuate all day
at the corner of your eye.

More by Rachel Hadas

Summer Nights and Days

So far the nights feel lonelier than the days.
In light, the living keep me company,
and memories of voices through the years.

Each summer threads a green familiar maze.
Emerging sun-struck, you can barely spy
the slow kaleidoscope of clouds and hours.

Those flannel nightshirts chilly sleepers wear
as summer wanes: I'm giving them away.
Pass it on: you keep at the same time.

A bough has broken from the Duchess tree.
Rain swelled the apples. Too much lightness weighs
heavy: the heft of the idea of home
tempered with the detachment of a dream,
or tidal pulls, like ocean, like moonrise.

Recognitions

When my son was a few weeks old,
replicas of his yawning face appeared
suddenly on drowsy passersby:

middle-aged man’s gape that split his beard,
old woman on a bus, a little girl—
all told a story that I recognized.

Now he is fifteen.
As my students shuffle in the door
of the classroom, any of the boys

could easily be him—
foot-dragging, also swaggering a little,
braving the perils of a public space

by moving in a wary little troop.
But the same sleepy eyes, the same soft face.
We recognize the people whom we love,

or love what we respond to as our own,
trusting that one day someone
will look at us with recognition.

Related Poems

Dawn

Clouds rise from their nests
with flapping wings, they whisper
of worn leather, bracken, long
horizons, and the manes of dark
horses. In the waking stream
the stones lie like chestnuts
in a glass bowl. I pass the bones
of an old harrow thrown on its side
in the ditch.

                   Now the sun appears.
It is a fish wrapped in straw.
Its scales fall on the sleeping
town with its eyeless graineries
and necklace of boxcars. Soon
the blue wind will flatten the roads
with a metallic palm, the glitter
of granite will blind the eyes.

But not yet. The beetle still
stares from the riding moon, the ship
of death stands motionless on
frozen waves: I hear
the silence of early morning
rise from the rocks.