Asleep, with Grieg

Asleep, with Grieg

I drift to sleep to the notes of classical music, to see
our table lit, in an otherwise dark and empty restaurant.

Before me sits an ivory porcelain bowl, with broth shimmering
between silver and gold as my spoon breaks its surface.

My hand raises the spoon to her lips,
notes floating into the air as they leave the broth.

Her lips glow as the spoon touches her lips,
the notes spreading through her body.

The last notes of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor
fade and my eyes open as I understand the rapture of this moment.

The music resumes as I return to my slumbers.

I am sitting at my mother’s bedside, stroking her hand
to soothe away her worries and fears.

The peace she now feels flows from her hand to mine,
seeming to lessen my own burdens.

My concern for her dissipates as her warmth
flows into me, yet a dormant fear remains.

Like a new sunrise easing my worries, I am roused
by the last notes of Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Morning Mood.

I drift off, once more, to the opening notes of The Death of Ase,

to see the light of dawn filtered through a sheer curtain of gauze
into a darkly paneled room mostly in shadow.

Sitting in an overstuffed chair of worn, forest green velvet,
I am dimly lit in the yellow light of a table lamp.

Tassels hanging from the cream colored shade rustle
as I reach for a gilded letter opener beneath the lamp.

Raising the blade to my neck, I draw a shallow line
that is no more than a scratch.

One small drop of blood forms and falls to the green velvet,
bringing the room to life and taking with it all of my fears.

I wake briefly, then drift off once more to the notes still playing in my mind.

This poem, regarding a dream, is in response to Tuesday Poetics with Lillian
at dVerse Poets Pub. I was reminded of this incident by Lillian’s Haibun True.

In 2006, my mother had come to live with me. It was 2008, a few months before her death, when I had this short series of dreams, all within a twenty minute span. I got up right after the third dream to write an account of something that I felt had immense significance. This revision into verse is meant to retain the lyric sense I originally intended.

23 thoughts on “Asleep, with Grieg

  1. This is such a powerful write. The details are so real….most especially for me the worn overstuffed green velvet chair and the description of the lampshade. These seem so true to an older woman’s decor. And the letter opener with the drop of blood is chilling. Thank you so very much for posting….and for sharing your note of explanation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This reads beautifully, a dream-like quality of images – details without interpretation – multiple tiny image messages. The music running through reminds of the power music has to influence our psyches … if we listen w/o questioning, just receiving … dream-like indeed, whether in deep sleep or just theta-wave bliss under headphones. I call sessions with my headphones “music therapy”. Often an hour or two later it’s unclear if I’ve been asleep or not … your verse here has that quality to it: easily real, yet a dream.
    Thank you for sharing this very personal encounter.

    Liked by 1 person

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