my dead mother appeared in my dreams last night
and I was so happy to see her

she’s been dead and dust these twenty-three years
so you can imagine my surprise

what ever joy was quickly abated
by the guy playing me in my dreams

he started yelling at my dead mother
that she would “never understand”

the aware and awake me horrified
that I’d wasted the opportunity

mortified that I just didn’t hug her
and hang on

Delmore Shwartz said
that responsibility begins in our dreams

and Delmore
was one clever guy

but the asshole who played me
in my dream last night won’t be invited back

my mother didn’t seem
to like him at all

Michael Dennis

Michael Dennis is the author of 27 books/ chapbooks of poetry. His blog is