by Laura Scott

I dreamt I found some poems
lying half-forgotten
on a bottom shelf,
nearly at the floor
of a room where all the walls
were shelves.
Leaves of paper
put together by a child,
a girl, I think, who had folded
the edges into an improvised spine,
so that what I held in my hands
was almost a collection.

I knelt beside them
and turned the pages
and saw how the words sang
in the midst of all that white,
how caught within their shape
was a sound I’d heard before.
Sometimes there were
words around the words,
marks of uncertainty fluttering in the wings
in the same hand or a different one –
I couldn’t tell.
I didn’t read them.
I just looked at them,
that was all I wanted to do.

One meandered off its page
and into my memory,
where it became
a poem about a chair,
a nursing chair with a curved back
and bowed wooden legs,
waiting in the corner of a bedroom,
like a chair in a painting.
That is all I can remember.
But the dream left its residue,
a wave of contentment that lasted for
days because now
I knew they were there
they could be mine.