Cambridge Book Review

[Issue #4, Winter 1999-2000]

Waking from a Dream of Grief
David Steingass

High on Morphine, my father saw me as Nixon
the last time we spoke. Fueled by America,
our lives shook as far as roots
grip bone. We understood our need
as weakness. The sun marks me a bright

island in the grass. I dreamt I was lost
and floating. Spiders take me
for solid ground. They swim down on light
into my chest. I weigh what silk streams
wash through air. I spot a dead cicada-

sized hummingbird. Its iridescent dazzle
seems to gilt the grass. Like wet flint,
its feathers chip the light and point
where only this life kept him
from going.

© 1998 David Steingass


David Steingass lives in Madison, Wisconsin and works as an artist in schools and as an arts and writing consultant. "Waking from a Dream of Grief" appears in his poetry collection, Fishing for Dynamite, published in 1998 by Red Dragonfly Press, The Anderson Center at Tower View, Red Wing, MN 55066. In 2000, Red Dragonfly will publish Steingass's booklength poem GreatPlains: A Prairie Lovesong.

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