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“Dream Song 101” by John Berryman (1914 – 1972)
A shallow lake, with many waterbirds,
especially egrets: I was showing Mother around,
An extraordinary vivid dream
of Betty & Douglass, and Don—his mother’s estate
was on the grounds of a lunatic asylum.
He showed me around.
A policeman trundled a siren up the walk.
It was 6:05 p.m., Don was late home.
I askt if he ever saw
the inmates—‘No, they never leave their cells.’
Betty was downstairs, Don called down ‘A drink’
while showering.
I can’t go into the meaning of the dream
except to say a sense of total Loss
afflicted me therof:
an absolute disappearance of continuity & love
and children away at school, the weight of the cross,
and everything is what it seems.