Sleepers, Awake: Dreaming at 10,000 Feet

Amanita muscaria alongside Elk Creek Trail in Colorado’s San Juan Wilderness
In the tent, chaotic dreams emerge,
like pikas darting from their den.
Was that an airplane flying overhead,
or traffic? I hear a crash. “He’s dead,”
someone cries. Car doors slam. 
Feet scurry down the slope 
from the isolated highway. 

Flashlights shine, illuminating the walls of the tent. 
“Wake up! Wake up!” the voices cry. 
“Can we borrow your phone? 
We need to report an accident.” 
I know we’ve left phones behind in a locked car.
No service here in Colorado’s San Juan Wilderness,
and the nearest road 
is more than 8 miles
from our tent site.

In my dream, I ask my husband
for his phone. I shake his arm.
His eyes open, and I ask:
“Are you okay? 
Did you hear anything? 
See anyone?”

Roused from my dream, awakened from our sleep,
we shed sleeping bags, like cocoons.
We unzip the tent, then step out.
Stars shimmer across the meadow-—
Second Meadow—-as it arches its sinuous back
for two miles alongside Elk Creek Trail.
The stars are luminous and thick
as fireflies from my childhood.

Soon, it’s back to the tent.
We zip closed the screen behind us,
but the moon’s reflected light 
penetrates the opaque fabric
of our tent, thin sail hoisted on a meadow,
like shining from shook foil.

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