Sometimes the dream gets muddled:
one night, it’s barn swallows; another,
a gold rooster that flares up from double
crust when the first cooled piece gets cut.
Always, you’re amazed that feathers come
out clean, survive the oven’s fire: Abednegos
with wings. And it’s your hands covered
in canned cherry filling. Right before
waking, it turns to red syrup—or blood
dried from that day’s slaughter—or the
notyetbaby lost while picking apples.
But in this dream, the daughter lives and
the animals won’t die. They’re reborn into
pale eggshells, they break free from pie plate,
up from bubbling filling phoenix, and each
speaking things you later can’t recall. All
you know is that the table’s full—the hobo
John, the minister’s wife, your children young
with school friends. They laugh and gape in
wonder, as if such unexpected guests were
what they’d wanted to be served all along.