Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

The Pointing Dictionary

by Merridawn Duckler

I slept in the home of my childhood while my husband was gone.
From him I’d once been as far as St. Petersburg. In fungal yellow
bedding I tossed and turned as some outside halogen drilled
into my skull and I blamed my parents for the incessant light.

Around three-ish in the a.m, I realized I could, of course, unscrew the bulb.
Then was I wide awake. I lisped around the homestead
where elderly spirits whispered for their misplaced keys
and our great grandfather tried to message me from 18th century Kiev.

My alarm set, eyes lidded, I dreamt of you, my Russian learning brother.
You flew in sideways, slick as an envelope delivered to cries and shouts.
We were both so smart and as bored as only siblings can be,
punching each other with dire pronunciations about who is going to die first.

I spun an umbrella, once again young, full of fearful puns.
When our mother appeared in the dream we competed to correct her,
particularly her pronunciation of fracas, a word I loved as a child,
like a gull shriek and I woke with a start, alone, in yet another foreign land.