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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 17: 29 Jan. 2023
Poem: 214 words
By Mary Rohrer-Dann

In Praise of Dreams

—After Gary Soto, who wrote after Wislawa Szymborsky
—For Debbie
   after Soto 

In my dreams, 
I lasso poems, feed them apples. 
They nicker, nuzzle my hands. 

I dip my brush into sap green, Hansa yellow. 
My color and line impress O’Keeffe and Matisse. 
Van Gogh admires my blues. 

Opening a new door in my house, 
I find Chinese gardens, jeweled caves. 
A palomino mare. 

With ease I please my old boss; my 
press releases are odes to ceramic tile. 
Neruda gives me a thumbs-up. 

I sing with Shirley Horn’s smoky sexiness, 
Joni Mitchell’s radiance, 
Bonnie Raitt’s velvet gut-punch. 

I run for miles and miles, 
breath light and loose, 
knees agile as a gazelle’s. 

   after Szymborska 

In my dreams, 
old loves come to me 
their eyes full of longing. 

I never dream of war. 
I have done nothing to deserve this. 

Standing at the grocery checkout, years 
past my last period, I look down 
at my belly, ripe as a melon. 

I have learned the demon on my chest 
cannot kill me. 
I will wake, unscathed, alive. 

And what is now forever only a dream: 
my heart’s comrade of summer evening 
roller coaster rides, rainy-day 
drives, talks into dawn 

suddenly your wind-chime laughter 
finds me. 

Mary Rohrer-Dann,
Issue 17 (29 January 2023)

author of Accidents of Being: Poems from a Philadelphia Neighborhood (Kelsay Books, 2023); Taking the Long Way Home; and La Scaffetta: Poems from the Foundling Drawer; is delighted to appear again in MacQueen’s Quinterly. Her work also appears in Flash Boulevard, The Ekphrastic Review, Clackamas Review, Indiana Review, Orca, Philadelphia Stories, Panoply, and elsewhere. A “graduated” educator, she paints, hikes, and works with several nonprofits in central Pennsylvania.

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