A Riff on “The Impossible Dream”

by Ken Ireland
For A.G.
first published St Ignatius Day, 2010
revised December 17th, 2010

I don’t know if it’s possible
but I’ll continue to dream it,
juggling obscure or fine points when I have to
to lend it a kind of reality.

I’m just a guy trying to be real,
glimpsing at men walking down the sidewalk
and wondering.

You showed me where you fit
that flight of stairs with the return into a tight corner.
Now you—anyone really—can climb up under
the rafters and look out from
where you opened the roof to the sun.

I knew that hope wasn’t dead forever,
even though I tried to murder it.
But some kinds of hope are just virtuous dreaming.

The carpenter hasn’t hammered the last nail—
I heard his banging for the first time in many years
when I thought he too had vanished.

I’m just a guy dreaming back to last night,
glimpsing at the men walking down the sidewalk,
wondering what they dream of.

What was it that disappeared before
we noticed something missing?
Was that the dream?
How could I have missed it?

You were forced to
carve a purpose out of nothing.
So did you dream it like a vision, or did it dream you?
(This is, I guess, a technical question, and no one can be expected
to provide more than a best guess.)

I’m just a guy juggling
the timing of the wash cycle
so that I can try to keep a date
with my dreams.

Your future doesn’t seem to be pretending to be something, someone—not you.
You didn’t patch it together with
tinsel, latex, fabric, and strut on the
stage when heels weren’t optional.
Yet you’ve hit that same impossible note.

Dreams are timeless and yet
we imagine we can walk through them,
one step following another, just like in real life.
Today I win the lottery.
Later I hold you in my arms for eternity.
Then you disappear, vanishing like that carpenter,
gone, gone—a ghost, or perhaps a dream.

Is it possible to glimpse the sun through you?
(I don’t know and the sun ain't saying.)
But I climbed that flight of stairs one foot after the other.
I can retrace my steps if I must prove it.

I feel so alive—certainly more alive than yesterday.

I glimpsed the sun
through the hole you opened in the roof.

hole in the roof by kent-duo






to read more of my poems


Popular posts from this blog

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field

The Lesson Of The Falling Leaves

“Che Fece .... Il Gran Rifiuto”