In the Dream, Another Kind of Wisdom Prevails

Jacqueline Kolosov

The woman who lost a child last summer just as the first tomatoes ripened on the vine and long after the climbing roses, dark as the unseen heart, overtook the vine, sits in the rocking chair, her newborn son in her arms.

From the white living room overlooking the rose garden, her grandmother calls her in to supper. Apple pancakes in butter sizzle in the griddle, from a recipe her grandmother carried from the old country, written in her own mother’s strong hand.

The white room, adorned with porcelain figurines and Dresden china, belongs to the house
beside the creek. The woman was a girl in ponytails when her grandmother lived there.
Together they carried the meal’s leavings down to the water for the raccoons. They searched for mushrooms along the shaded paths. And always, there were her grandmother’s stories, mysterious as the yellowing album tied with string.

In the dream the woman knows the reason the tawny cow chased a soldier from the field
during wartime, the reason the family hung the oriental carpets over the windows. Even the dances in the midst of revolution. So much makes sense, except her grandmother’s dying.

In the white room, the woman hears the newborn crying in another room, one hung with blue curtains like the finest Venetian lace, or the ripples on a Siberian river. Yes, the curtains flutter out and into the night, as if sharing secrets with the moon, or trying to lure a nightingale, an owl. The newborn watches the movement and is entranced, calmed.

The woman comes to him, cow-heavy with milk. Her grandmother is beside her. They share
the same aquamarine eyes. Only the boy’s eyes are dark, inexplicably dark and unlike his father’s.

The woman and her grandmother are talking now, and the boy is quiet. She sets him down and his infant legs grow strong. He runs away from her now towards the blue curtains, incandescent and fine as a moth’s wings.


Jacqueline Kolosov‘s third poetry collection is Memory of Blue (Salmon, February 2014). She has recently published poetry and creative prose in The Southern Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday, and several anthologies. She is Professor of English at Texas Tech and lives with her family, including a menagerie of dogs, guinea pigs, and a Spanish mare, in West Texas.


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