wakey wakey

I normally wake before the phone beeps
but this morning I was still deeply asleep
dreaming about cats with big paws and bad teeth
an old cheetah, a stupefied lion
staring at me through the tatty old blinds
of the kitchen door, chewing sticks
as their ropey tails flick
and they smile and say ‘yes YES’
like they need to express
just how much they’re enjoying the wood
and would eat a lot more of it if they could

quite what it meant I couldn’t decide
although I remember someone once described
how the key to unlocking dreams is to recognise
you are everything
the cats, the sticks, the eating
So – did the cheetah mean I was cheating?
Did the lion mean I was lying?
And the sticks? Was I stuck in something?
Or maybe it was simpler than that.
Maybe I’m a mangy old cat
doomed to stand at the back door of life
pretending I’m okay but always outside


I groaned
snoozed the phone
Who cares about the dream, the symbols in it?
What I really need is ten more minutes.

I’m sure I’d have the same reaction
come the resurrection
phone trumpets blaring
everyone yawning and swearing
in the municipal cemetery
standing blearily
up through the pendant grasses
smacking the dirt from their bony arses
smiling, ironically saluting
in the general direction of the ethereal tooting

all except me
I’ll be rolling over grumpily
Who cares about the Messiah over there?
What I really need is a thousand more years.

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