Grass grew long in the story.
Pieces clung to bedclothes. In the night he believed he grew taller.
Grass covered the dream of a serpent, eyes sunk in his head, tail of silk clover. The dream translated into silver tone. More serpent heads and the
dream turned into an opera.
It was the opera that made the dreamer famous. Location of opera could be
in any country, could be Antarctica, more likely Finland, where they believe
in silk clover, it is gold in a land of starved desire for summer.
The opera had a clover leaf copied in porcelain by Aalto, the famous
designer, who sewed the clover leaf into a white curtain. He designed a
window for the man when he looks out to sea in his serpent costume.
This opera that begins with a dream traveled
to Rome and Zagreb, traveled across continents, once by camel. The travels became more famous than
the opera. People began to forget whether the grass really had grown long,
and where the serpent came from.
The opera was called by another name and included a gold limousine.
Somewhere in Oceania they added mermaid elves.
Barbara Guest, “Finnish Opera” from Miniatures and Other Poems. Copyright © 2003 by Barbara Guest. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Miniatures and Other Poems
(Wesleyan University Press, 2002)