A dream of you on your bench

I have a dream about you
in which you are sitting on a bench, your bench,
the one you have always sat on,
at some distance from the sea off Scotland
but close enough to smell and hear it.

Next to you on the bench are your things:
your book, a pair of binoculars,
a bacon sandwich because it is almost lunch,
your smokes and lighter,
your purse containing Sudafed and Kleenex, just in case,
and the Guardian folded in four to the cryptic crossword;
your sweater hung neatly over the back,
your umbrella leaned against the seat
with the point in the ground.

I approach, stand near the bench,
and the North Sea music in your head breaks off for a minute
as you look up.

In that minute you put your purse and the book
in the little space on your other side,
the sandwich, halved, in your lap
(for sharing shortly),
the binoculars around your neck,
the smokes and lighter into your pocket,
the sweater around your shoulders,
the newspaper under your other arm,
and the umbrella behind your heels on the ground
to clear a space for me.

You pat the bench beside you,
your rings making tinny taps on the wood,
and I sit.
With my eyes I thank you for making room,
and we talk and talk
with the sea-in-the-distance melody
mixing into our every word.


  • Debbie Sawczak

    Debbie Sawczak has been writing poetry since high school and is an admirer of Hopkins, Donne, and Kenyon. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Crux, Arc, Writual, the U.C. Review, and the McMaster Journal of Theology and Ministry; online at McMaster Divinity College's "Poems for Ephesians"; and in the anthologies Adam, Eve, and the Riders of the Apocalypse and In a Strange Land. She has also enjoyed exposure through many public readings, including the Eden Mills Writers' Festival, community events, coffee bars, church liturgies, and most recently the Neilson Park Creative Centre in collaboration with Fellowship Church in Etobicoke, ON. Debbie's work as a professional editor and former bookseller has given her additional pathways into the beloved and stimulating world of text. She is married and has three adult sons.

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One Comment

  1. How is it that most of the specific details as clearly laid out in stanza two, rather than feeling redundant when repeated in stanza four, draw us closer and closer into the scene when they are clear away? What a rich and welcoming scene that’s been created!

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