Dreaming Purple
by Gay Baines
Gay Baines

Gay Baines lives in East Aurora, New York, and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She has a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY - Buffalo. She won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 literary journals, including 13th Moon, The Baltimore Review, Bayou, Cimarron Review, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, Dislocate, Eclipse, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Phoebe, The Pinch, Poet Lore, Quiddity Literary Journal, RE:AL, Rosebud, Slipstream, South Carolina Review, The Texas Review, Verdad, Westview, Whiskey Island, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, and Zone 3. She recently published a book of poems, Don't Let Go.

I've dreamed purple dreams,
like the one where I knew the
fanged wolf was in the room,
lain down on red satin sheets,
felt his breath scorch
my neck so that my scalp
tightened, and I could sense
fangs close to my veins.

In place of those dreams,
a kind of oblivion, the sense of
being in a strange
place, knowing I should
know it. A bright, cold day,
me bundled in boiled wool,
walking past the
asylum in the sharp-cut, cleared
slate sidewalk, wind flinging
snow on my face, glittering,
gentian to ruby sparks
flying before me, like a
night campfire.

With home half
a block away, the promise of
boots and snowsuit off, fresh
scones from the black stove,
a mug of cocoa with marshmallows,
but first, those steps to take
in the sunny snow, thin
clouds striping the blue
sky, telling me more snow is
coming, and soon, and I'd better
move fast.

No dream, but a purple moment,
ecstasy and dread in one,
love and dream in one.

What do you think? Please send us your comments, including the name of the work you are commenting on.