Patti Marshock The 2River View, 5.3 (Spring 2001)


She dreams she will fall asleep
and a knight in a pure white robe
will come and merge
into her side
under golden light in a tall room.
and he will dance with her,
a slow waltz,
he has long black hair,
with swooping waves
and so does she,
and she can't tell where his begins
and hers ends
and they are both barefoot,
the floor is covered with clouds.
and he doesn't carry a sword
and she doesn't wear diamonds.
and they whisper
and they don't tell each other
they sit at a lunchroom counter,
backs of hands touching on the
stained formica counter top
and they work a cryptic puzzle,
and the clues spell out their names
they watch people who look
like their dogs
and they eat hot pastrami
with gooey melted cheese
and they walk out into the sunlight
and he's wearing jeans
and she has pink fingernails
they get into a yellow car
that putters up a hill
and sticks coming out of second gear
and the traffic lights are
purple and brown and hard to read
and her friends come to her house
and they bring the notice from
the community association
that there is a rule about keeping
a knight in the backyard
and he hides in the corner and
pretends that he is a ceramic owl
and she paints the backporch
so she can watch him
and a dark green stain gets on her
face and on her hands.
The river runs downhill
and she glares at the boat
the owl with sharp hooked talon
intent on catching
the fools who
get too close.
The water is overflowing the banks
and the weeds have grown over the edge
but her gardening gloves have shrunk
so she pulls them barehanded
turns her head and notices
that the knight has disappeared.

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2River All is well.