Dream an Emptiness

The faint trace though undergrowth was once a road to somewhere, to their place. It was a small village then. The people left and never returned along that passage by the homestead at Covey Hill, past the old schoolhouse, its loose clapboard walls still standing, a sapling grown from the crumpled chimney. A schoolhouse yet, in form and storied memory, though a century since books, students or teacher. Marion and Gerald ran with dogs down that lane, laughing and rolling about. Later, at dinner, the story of a previous dinner. George was there with a bottle of father’s Chateau Laffitte. Torchlight flickered over the murmurs of Indo European, a toast to Egeria on the eve of her departure. She of the peregrinatio, a story known only from the torn scrap of a letter. A pilgrim himself, George put down that evening in words unfinished, having already begun, we know now, his own departure, the absence without leaving, his delirium of the I gone but he still there. Walk that path. At the river, sit in meaningless sunlight, stare at the water. Calm, doe-like, watch and wait for the day to go your way. Oh, Golden Fish! Speak to me, quotidian world.

Third Prize in Poetry
2020 Stubborn Writers Contest

Dan Reilly lives with his wife Aggie in the Adirondacks where he had his first reading thanks to Maurice Kenny. Dan has worked in films and construction, bartended, driven truck and taxi, written for a newspaper, taught in prisons, owned a business, and lived in NYC and LA. His poetry and stories have recently been published in Pif Magazine, Beyond Words, and Closed Eye Open. Dan was a featured writer on The New Guard’s BANG! page. His story, “Sights Seen,” is upcoming in Ocotillo Review. “The Promise of Dreams Holy” is in the current issue of Obelus Journal. He and Aggie are currently completing a pair children’s books, and Dan is collaborating with Atlanta artist Gail Foster on a chapbook.