Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Your Repose” by Melinda Coppola. Coppola has been writing in some form for nearly five decades. Her work has been published in several magazines, books, and periodicals including I Come from the World, Harpur Palate, Kaleidoscope, The Autism Perspective, Spirit First, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Welcome Home, and Celebrations. An artist, yoga teacher, and mother to an amazing daughter with special needs, she enjoys infusing the work of her heart with her voice as a poet.
beneath closed lids,
that which we know as REM,
is also named paradoxical sleep,
because the body rests while the mind
is quite awake.
I wonder if your soul
checks herself in mirrors
as you slumber, if she
scrolls Facebook, idly clicking Likes
with her ethereal fingers,
as if these tiny dreamland acts,
things your days do not contain,
could change a lifetime’s course.
You, who walk the waking world
following all the rules you know,
making up some you don’t,
doing everything in order,
trying to make sense of the chaos,
You who count duplicates;
numbers on license plates,
yellow cars in a lot,
who checks and rechecks
the solid fences of her world:
I will have a treat,
You’re a girl,
You will have girl hair when we leave,
Two sides, cheek bink,
Mommy will you fix it
I want to think you are free in sleep,
that anxiety and compulsion,
autism and obsessions
can’t follow you
when you fly to that misty realm.
I want to think
you can have this respite every night,
relief from all the voices, and fears,
the tensions, demands,
that there is no standard
of normal in dreamland,
or, if there is, you define it,
quite comfortably there.
Poets Notes: I often wish I could be inside my developmentally disabled daughter’s brain. The mystery of her inner landscape intrigues me as much as the mystical realm of sleep and dreams. This poem was conceived from my loving curiosity about the nighttime journeys of her mind and soul.
Editor’s Note: The gradual turn that begins in the third stanza is nicely done, perfectly setting up the reader for the narrative of the autistic girl in her dream world. The heartfelt wish at the close of the poem takes my breath away.