The dream took me to a place
where everything was rectangular,
in black-and-white,
rows of compartments like cubbies,
but larger.

The insight pierced me
that I had crossed over
to the other side
beyond life, after death.

I felt completely peaceful and relaxed.
There was no panic, no fear.
Taking stock, I realized
my life’s work was not done.

Deliberately I
put myself back to sleep.
I returned to my dream
and said, ‘I’m not ready.’

The vision dissolved
and I dreamed I woke up
in my own bed, just as it always is,
covered untidily
with the patched quilt,

and next to me, the empty space
strewn with my things
since my husband died twenty-five years ago,
and the phone in the corner
like a companion

calling me back to life
at the brink of ninety-four.
A lucent, that’s what
the spiritualist said I was,
to dream myself from death.