At dawn my family rose again to cluster at tables where
I rushed to serve them: goblets and plates, verdant
with half frozen leaves, little cups of rich sauce.
My fever to please and nourish burned in confused footsteps
ankle-weighed, nearly drowned in my own inexperience
I sought their dear faces and found complaint.
Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents, reunited in dingy chairs
I did them more disservice than waiting aid
The old life dredged before my eyelids, subconscious
passion play at the edge of slumber
reminded of what thoughts plagued
my heart when I laid me down,
lips silent but entreating for some answer
So they arrived with their wise liquid eyes
to pierce my soul in all their wisdom
to illuminate the folly of my days all strung together,
the beads on which I pray
Was it sleep,
when these ancestors braved to part the veil,
delivering an almighty reply
past and present uniting future,
as it is now and ever shall be
Was it a dream
or was I at last
without knowing it
in their presence,
did they bring me the elixir
to be fully alive?
I wrote this poem for another competition, again with the Poetry Society, (and again unsuccessful), in conjunction with their celebration of Keats. I read The Eve of St Agnes aloud to my daughter, had a significant dream, and wrote this. Thank you for reading!