ever since i was a child
i’ve been having the same dream

i’m driving
(even as a little boy
i dreamed of driving)
over a suspension bridge
the kind where the road curves up
to a summit
and then back down
to rendezvous with the far bank


in my dream
when i reach the top of the arch
i can see
there will be no meeting at the shore

the road ends at a drop
i’m going too fast
and i plunge
into the cold dark water

over the years
my dream has mutated
and sometimes
rather than a bridge
the highway forms a towering parabola
or a roller-coaster loop
which even the most skillful driver
could not hope to negotiate
without falling
into the depths

each time i have this dream
it is terrible
and as i see the behemoth approach
my heart is filled with fear
yet i am powerless to turn away

last night
i had the dream again

i recognized the road i was traveling on
i knew well what was coming
yet i was powerless to turn away

i saw the colossal arc of skyway
which i knew
no sane driver
would attempt to traverse

i saw the wave-licked surface
of inky waters below

it was sunny in my dream
a beautiful day
other drivers on this road seemed

it’s always like that
in this dream

and i knew i could not stop
and i could not turn
and i had no choice
but to try and fail
and fall
and die

i was cold

but at the feet of the leviathan
i closed my eyes
and pressed the pedal to the floor
and i whispered a prayer
(though i do not ever pray
like that
i do not pray for rescue)

and then
and then…
i don’t know

my brain moved on
to another province of sleep
leaving me suspended
with hands on the wheel
eyes shut tight
gravity pressing me
compressing me
back into the seat

did i make it?
or did i hurtle downward
to the indigo water
as i’ve done in so many
dreams before?

i don’t know
i honestly don’t know

but i know
that i closed my eyes
and i said a prayer
i pushed the gas pedal hard
and i told my fear

you can have the back seat
this time around
and i recommend
that you buckle up


i’m a leaf on the wind
watch how i soar

held aloft
for stretched-out seconds
lifted up on frail breezes
little zephyrs made capricious
by new, unforeseen power

by now
my flight should have ended
i should have tumbled
to the ground
and yet, still i soar

but in the end
there is only one destination

fate and gravity agree
there is nowhere else to go
but down

did i know this, as i clung
snugly to my branch
for week upon week
watching spring’s greening
explode all around?

did i understand
as summer’s sun warmed me
and by that kind and shining god
i was lovingly given
my photosynthetic daily bread?

what did i know
while i hung there
absorbing jubilant energy
rejoicing in my kinship
with the community of leaves?

united in our mission:
we feed our tree
we are all one
we feed our tree

what did i think
while i suffered there
absorbing the pain
of late summer and autumn
as nutrients waned
and my lush chlorophyll
gradually vanished?

could i see that this
accumulation of wounds
made me beautiful?

that it pulled to the surface
magnificent colors
that were always there
in potential within me
though i never knew?

what did i think would happen
when i let go?

i don’t know the answers
to these questions
i ask myself
as i soar

i’m just a leaf
a leaf on the wind
drifting finally
to earth