Dream of My Wife Remarried
by Roger Jones
I’ve returned to her after absence.
Resettled, she lives on the edge of
a thick grove. Her husband’s away,
a high-rise job he works long hours.
She’s overjoyed to see me—
she’s assumed me dead for years,
and now I’m not. We can hardly speak,
so much to catch up on. Urgently
we want to resume married life, but
her new arrangement intrudes. What
can be done? Then her husband enters;
a tall, slim blond ten years my junior,
he wears black slacks, a white shirt
and tie. He seems nonplussed,
preoccupied with work. He’s home
to pick up some documents; he has to
get back. A nod hello and then
he leaves, and she’s alone to show me
through their house: quiet, unlit rooms,
shadowed, orderly spaces. Coolness.
Pausing at a door, I take stock of
an unmade bed I assume she and my successor
share. Later, in the kitchen, while she makes me
coffee, I sit on a round stool, and begin
to sob. “How could you have remarried?”
I ask. “You were gone,” she explains;
“there’s no good story.” But now I’m alive,
and she must find a way to set things
the dream shifts time.
It’s days later. We’ve been out and
have driven back to her house.
I wait outside while she goes in to explain
to her new man why she has to leave him
and return to me. How will he react?
Will he try to stop her? Some mortal power
binds us, an unspoken denouement we must
face. An hour passes, two; late evening
slides toward solemn dusk. Soon she returns,
climbs in the car. No tears, but an air
of heavy sadness, for her marriage to him
has not been without its joys. I feel
a centerless guilt as I pull us back onto
the highway. Early night, a dark cloudy sky.
Black trees lining the road. Miles to go
towards an unspecified destination.
We drive towards nothing we recognize
for sure. But we go together.
Roger Jones currently teaches in the MFA writing program at Texas
State University, and his third poetry collection, Are We There Yet?,
has just been published by the Texas Review Press. He has published
poems in various places for the past thirty years or so.
On “Dream of My Wife Remarried”:
I have been interested for a long time in the parallels between
poems and dreams—their rhythm and narrative suspense; the
quality in each of specific and often very numinous images; the
way dreams, like poems, seem to have a kind of tension in the
way they unfold. I often write more elaborate dreams into poems
just to see what happens. This dream was particularly memorable
for obvious reasons.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 4, Number 1
Copyright © 2009
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors