“In the dream he saw them walking across the bridge …”

In the dream he saw them walking across the bridge,
carrying all their worldly belongings. Dogs and children
surrounded them. In the dream he understood

that it was meant to bring laughter, lighten the burden,
call forth echoes of momentous times, gently
mocked. But the uncertainty of the hour,

the uncertainty of the light, left him anxious,
frightened, even in the depths of sleep. What
were those ruins toward which they walked?

In the distance there were battlecries, or were they
shouts of exaltation? He could not tell. Giant
beings loomed above them, loomed above

the city from which they had departed. In the
depths of sleep, he moaned, thinking this dream
was not intended for him at all. Little tunes,

little pictures, occasional drinks or dinners
with friends. Then he remembered: he had
tried to explain that all he could do

was listen and be mindful of a momentary
impulse, and follow where it led. It led to this.

Norman Finkelstein (© 2009)