laughing, right here

Rache & I, these days

Many years ago,
before either of us become moms,

I dreamed my sister Rache and I
were leaders in a
human uprising
against brutal
space aliens

(both of us are
horror lovers, so:
this was not as out of left field
as it might sound).

in this dream,
there came a time
where Rache got really
sad and tired about the
kind of life that could be lived
in such a prolonged fight.

An ASNAC nerd scholar,
her my-dream self told me, “Deb,
if I can’t study Beowulf,
why am I even here?
I need you to
let me go.”

I argued with her, briefly,
but ultimately flew
her down to the ground
at a library

(because, as one does
in dreams involving
systemically cruel space aliens,
I could fly, and because
that was how
Rache wanted
to go).

Many years later,
Rache and I are both moms
for many years now.

Space aliens have not (yet) invaded,
although a certain virus
is pandemic.

We are both politically vocal,
but hardly leaders against
any resistance:
space aliens, pandemic, or otherwise.

And yet:
There’s something else
quite real about that dream, today.

My sons’ grandmas
(in multiple demographics
especially susceptible to COVID-19)
had been shut in their home
for a year before our state
went into (something
like) lockdown.

For more than two months,
they barely saw their grandsons;

and then,
only from a distance,
on the porch, or in the car.

This changed last week,
when they let my husband know
they’ve had good long lives—and
what’s life without their babies, anyway?

Our younger son
(and his face mask) went for a visit.

Today, both my sons
visited with their grandmas,
who were delighted by
that visit

(as well as by the fact
the older grandson is now
taller than both of them(!)).

And I remember
my-dream’s-Rache asking me:
What’s life without Beowulf?

No version of Rache in my life,
whether in dream or waking, would
(likely) say these words today,

but the funny thing is:
I’m glad to have heard them
in some version of her voice,

and for how
that planted in me, early,
long before I’d otherwise
fathomed such potentially final choices
in my own life,

the feeling of the idea that, for each person,
what makes life worth living
is profoundly unique,

and that, when it comes down to it,
setting them down in front of that library
so they might, perhaps, exit stage left
in the literary company of Grendel
(or the waking sounds of two little boys
running and laughing)
is, itself, if an ache,
also an affirmation
of very
and the very
specific things
(and people)
that brought
those lives

be it Grendel, or
be it the sounds
of two little boys
right here.


One thought on “laughing, right here

  1. I briefly posted this under one title, only to see the picture, the featured tags, and the title, and see they told a very different story than the one intended! I’ve since updated the title, from “how she wanted to go” to the last words of this post. In case anyone was wondering …


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