Are meant for mean old men like Scrooge
who were taught the golden rule:
do not do onto others
before they do unto you
you can get away with it
visitations from spirits of the past, present or future.
Bad dreams have never been
a money thing with me
but more of a reminder
that I’m not good enough
to live in my own skin. Why? I’m not sure
but I always find ways to re-live my worst fears
of taking those final exams without preparation
not having the proper qualifications for the best job
or being kicked out of my parent’s home for being – adopted.
The best of the lot are the macabre
a murder I did not commit
or one that was recently found out
and I run like the wind
away from the authorities
men in old time police uniforms driving keystone cop wagons
who close in on me in abandoned warehouses
sirens blaring, speaker phones as loud as civil sirens.
I check my handgun
for the number of bullets left in the cartridge
but the damn thing always jams and I’m cornered.
I fail to escape the fuzz but it’s always fun
to nearly exchange fire with Elliot Ness
before I’m handcuffed
and thrown inside a paddy wagon
headed for downtown booking and beatings.
Still, the one I’ll never forget
the one that awoke me
to a heart racing sweat
was not for an electric chair execution
but a visitation of a man long departed.
While boarding abroad
sleeping in my grandfather’s bed
in Cerreto Sannita, a small Italian mountain town
that sent hundreds of immigrants to the good U.S. of A.
in the 30’s to live in small isolated neighborhoods
only to lose their lives in dye mills and steel plants
instead of living the American dream
a man from my past gave me the message:
“Tell your father I understand
why he never returned to our home
. . . and I forgive him.”
I wonder if nightmares
are simply fears played out
in black and white
or simply a nudge from souls departed
to tell us to live our lives
to the fullest without hurting others.
Sleep on it
and if you find out
let me know
what Christmas future
has in store for me, okay?