A STROKE OF RED INK

Hier, I had a dream

Where I was writing in French.

I forgot the end.

 

But I can recall

So much of what transpired:

I spoke to a girl.

 

She was fiery

With red hair and charisma;

We had met in class.

 

I was not myself—

For I too had confidence;

Enough to tell jokes.

 

We strolled hand in hand

Through the green grass and great trees

To a lone meadow.

 

We talked for a time

Through the sunset and the night

On a bench we’d found.

 

But lo and behold

It morphed away, as dreams do,

And I was alone.

 

Scrawling at the page

With an ink quill of crimson,

I wrote frantically.

 

I tried to capture

The story of her and I

Against my dream’s tide.

 

And the tide pulled me,

Like the Somme river:

Quite unstoppably.

 

I was in a room

With a poor, crying black girl

Who I didn’t know.

 

I wrote her story.

She was raped today.

“C’etait mon oncle.”

 

She cried out in pain.

It was a man she had loved

Driven mad with lust.

 

I put my hand out

To try to comfort her cries

But she was too far.

 

A mile away;

Then two, then three. Yet her tears

Were still crystal clear.

 

I began to drown

Under the weight of my guilt.

The pages were damp.

 

A sea of red ink

Swallowed me in a vortex

And left me bloodied.

 

And in Erebus

I found myself at judgment.

With a tipped scale.

 

They were all golden:

The coins, the desks, and the chairs.

Save for his red pen.

 

MY red pen, rather.

The irony of writers:

Judged at their own hand.

 

And He said to me…

Alas, the dream cuts off there;

In a stroke of red ink.

——

Hello there!

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2 thoughts on “A STROKE OF RED INK

  1. Pingback: TALKING ABOUT DREAMS | cassadyblog

  2. Pingback: A YEAR IN THE BOOKS | cassadyblog

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