A mask of water

She wakes into a dream, her face a mask
of water. In the dream, a child is born,
cascade of birth waters, then music

and dancing. No barbed wire in the dream
and no broken glass, no threat of bombs
cripples the world’s rejoicing. In the dream,

there are no arms for war. Dictators
and presidents go home early to their suppers.
Streams and creeks and rivers run undammed.

Science closes the markets of disease.
From behind her mask of dream, she sees
that no life is slight enough to pass

unmourned. Men and women gather
wheat for bread and dream of plenty, pluck fruit
that bears no curse of knowledge.

Clouds abound in that dream, and sunlight
billows over drifts of sand and drifts
of snow where her children play with children

of neighbors and children of strangers.
In the dream, there are no strangers.
Her mask is of the purest water.

Bethany Reid


Bethany Reid is the author of Sparrow, which won the 2012 Gell Poetry Prize. Her more recent books are Body My House (Goldfish Press 2018), and “The Thing with Feathers,” part of Triple No. 10 published by Ravenna Press (2020). She lives in Edmonds, Washington, and blogs at http://www.bethanyareid.com.

© 2021