Robin Lindley

Landlocked People Often Dream the Sea

Among the 168 people killed in the Federal Building, Oklahoma City, April
19, 1995, was a Social Security Administration employee who had planned to
travel to Puerto Vallarta.

In our frozen peace
portions of a state falling, falling,
at the intersection of land rush and tear trail.
A chasm exhales blue clouds of ammoniac death.

Some dream the faraway sea
before the inland thunder breaks.
Landlocked people often dream the sea,
the rolling, rolling green, the saline mist.

The children know of the faraway sea,
the salt in the water, the spouting whales,
where it is easier to see ships, to float.
But they never see the ocean, never touch the sea.

A fat truck patrols
washed streets, a truck piloted by men
stirred by wounds, by sulfur.
Little hearts litter a nursery floor.

Children never swimming
drown in a storm of dust, plaster, concrete,
buzzing wires, sparks, dust.
Never see the ocean, never touch the sea.

In some dreams, a woman beyond the falling,
the smoke, steals flowers from all the graves,
and gives tiny flowers, often blue,
to anyone alive. They need them so much,
so much more than the sleeping stones.

Rescuers cut apart to save, save
in the creaking, the crumbling,
in the choking clouds. Chambers break
like an old collapsing heart.
Everywhere red smears.

After the fracturing, dust, blue dust.
Tiny blossoms blow all around.
A mortuary gives away little coffins.
A seamstress stitches funeral suits
for toddlers, no charge.

From the pillows of tiny boats,
no sea dreams, although landlocked
people often dream the sea, the pulsing light
on the rolling, rolling green.

Copyright 1996, Robin Lindley

Robin Lindley is a lawyer working with medical-legal issues in Seattle. His
drawings have been published in Seattle Weekly, Remedy, and Newsweek. His poetry
has appeared in prior issues of Switched-On Gutenberg.