Friday, January 3, 2014

There is a House in My House

"There is a house in my house."

That was how I explained it to myself while I was sleeping.
But it wasn't a house, it was a wonder cupboard. It had windows and doors and secret compartments. It had drawers, shallow, made for maps. All the spaces and places were empty, although the air inside smelled faintly of peppercorns.
Just before I went to sleep, I had been thinking about Sleeping Beauty, and how a more devious curse would have been the one we cast around all the time: 
May all your dreams come true.
There is nothing innocent about a curse like that.

May all your dreams come true.

What a terrible thing to say to a child.
But then, as if to remind me I am not my own Malificent, I dreamed of the wonder cupboard. And it was not a bad dream. 
It was the sort of dream that wakens Zugunruhe...

In a windowless basement
birds wake in the dark
and stretch their wings
as far as the cage bars allow.
The lights are on timers,
the thermostat is set,
but Zugunruhe has hatched in the room.
Outside, under the stars
skeins of birds are moving.
Inside, where there are no stars,
birds know they should be going
but do not know where.

- - -

Zugunruhe: Migratory restlessness.

Empty drawers, smelling of peppercorn and invisible maps. 
It was not a bad dream.

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