Dreams, First and Last

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Life Lessons Poems

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©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson


Martin Luther King
had quite a dream,
and so did I.
Sadly, it peaked,
then sprang a leak
and failed to satisfy.

It looked so rosy,
felt so cozy,
when the thing was new.
But in the end
(let’s not pretend)
the shiny bits fell through.

I don’t like grieving
when believing
can’t get something done.
When wishes fail
and hopes derail,
my face turns toward the sun.

But rain will fall
in spite of all;
blue skies still turn to gray.
My dream went wrong,
though I held strong
until it slipped away.

The line runs thin
from “hanging in”
to empty hands and loss.
It’s like a death;
you lose your breath
and marvel at the cost.

Two ways to go:
above, below.
Sink down or choose to rise.
My brand new dream
has open seams
and room for compromise.

This one looks bright, but
held less tightly,
it finds room to breathe.
As wisdom frees,
perfection flees;
and once more, I believe.

Though first dreams go,
last(ing) dreams know
that life is not ideal.
Today I find
the world more kind…
my hope less blind, more real.

Dreams-3 copy

Some of you may wonder how this poem landed on my mental doorstep. It refers to what my sister and I like to call “the death of the dream,” that critical moment when the weight of life experience and its accompanying adversity teach you that living on this earth is not exactly what you thought it would be when you were a small child dreaming of a perfect world. It comes as a real shock to the system, or at least it shocked my optimistic young soul when it happened my way. The odd thing is that the lesson seems to come around again every so often, as if to strip off another flayer of my naiveté and expose in all its glory the difficult, soul-stretching challenge life really is. As the admitted owner of a tendency to sport some rose-colored glasses, this is a good exercise for me. Having said that, it is not always a pleasurable one.
Recently, I’ve walked into another enlightening round of dream dampening, and this poem was my way of coming to peace with it. Maybe it will resonate with you. (Click below for Related Poems.)
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