Dream Shine

When I switch off the light
the darkness lasts only
an instant, they appear

like women in their doorways
hesitant, brandishing
their dim lamp. The shine

reflected from deep snow
edges the darkness
of a hanging gown,

singles out a surface,
a beam sliding upwards,
a gleam suspended;

a slice wriggles up
from a fountain in the courtyard,
slips into the room,

finds itself a shelf,
bobs beside it —
who would not prefer

to sleep surrounded
by these gentle intruders,
wrapped in their whispers:

Go to sleep, dream about
the mouse that used to watch you,
looking out from his door

in the dashboard, sidelong,
as soon as the engine growled
and the car moved on its road?

From The Boys of Bluehill. Reproduced with kind permission from The Gallery Press.