Whose Dream Was It?
Dreamed 2008/10/18 by Chris Wayan
We journey so far, so long. My family's
near forty years younger; I'm fifteen.
But it's 1938, not '68, and we're Chinese
fleeing the Japanese Army. Refugees
from the Empire of the Sun! Hop trains
til we acquire (don't ask!) a Volkswagen van.
Crawls on and on. I flinch when planes
hum too near: I fear they'll strafe or bomb.
But all just vulture-wheel. So far. So long.
We drive to California. Peach orchards sprawl.
I wake from my dream on a bench in sun;
My old college. Students snack and chat.
Up walks my mom. I blurt, still half adream,
"I had an endless nightmare--we were all
refugees from hordes of the Rising Sun."
She gasps "You really are psychic!
You know your father always swore
he never saw blood in that Pacific war,
but weeks now, he wakes from dreams of fire
howling every dawn." So Dad's alive again!
Though a memory-haunted man. But when
are we? He lives; the twentieth century, then.
One silver decade back (or did the bridge's spans
mean two or three? Unsure.) But I concur
my nightmare journey must be his war
memory upwelled--passed on. That year
was long before my birth, but back in '38
Dad really was fifteen. And then...
I wake for real. Again. This time I'm sure.
I'm home, in the City of Peace. So far.
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