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by Hale Chatfield

Jack said I heard
dreams are to keep us asleep
because if we had to respond
directly to our needs we’d have to wake
up and Jill said
you mean dreams let us keep our responses
symbolic and Jack said

So Jill said think
of this then if you are hip to paradox
dreams get longer and more detailed
close to morning as if they
are fitting us to the world
we wake to.

Jack said okay then
dreams are like life itself
working on the one hand to keep
us alive and on the other to make
us ready for death.

For the return to
the elements Jill agreed
so why don’t you get out of that
sleeping bag and get us some water.


Hale Chatfield founded the Hiram Poetry Review. He had published three volumes of poetry, as well as numerous essays and articles. He was a recent recepient of an NEA grant. (Spring 1975)

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