Dreamcatcher by Anne Stephanie Cruz

Message Received: “I know the feeling, tried poetry too when I was young but got busy earning a living. Now I lost the touch. Go ahead, soar. Catch the dream.” ~Daddy~

There it hangs by my bedpost,
a silent guardian more than two decades old.
Faded by moonbeams and starlight,
Its deerskin mottled like your own hands
wrinkled by chalk dust and long nights spent drafting lesson plans.

Though dulled by age
the dreamcatcher’s yellow feathers served me well
propelling childhood fantasies to dizzying heights:
the glory of the byline, the limelight
I savored fully as my dreamcatcher
battled nightmares of pale faced mothers
who tried to torment me.

Never let go of the dream, you would always say
as I watch you pore over the day’s crossword puzzle.
Your morning cup of coffee grows stale but you don’t care
too engrossed with plotting letters on those tiny squares.

Time had been kind,
but extinguished the fire in your eyes.
Remember how we loved to gaze at starry, starry nights?
Now it’s just Van Gogh in the living room,
a dream nailed onto a frame
begging for release
much like all the unbirthed verses you still keep.

If only I could,
I’d catch the moonbeams that once danced in your eyes
and for a moment lend you the sweetness of the dream
you lovingly and unselfishly gave up
so I could live out mine.

*Legend has it that dream catchers filter nightmares with a spider web of sinew, and preserves a child’s innocence by allowing only good dreams to pass through. Feathers attached to the hoops are said to assist the flight of good dreams.


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