All useless things – numb limbs, oversized clothes
And frayed wires – they all dangle, don’t they?
As too does this circle of yarn
And its few loose feathers, draped earnestly
On a curtain rod by the sleepless side
Of my bed.
Not so much a web as a flimsy net
Not fit to capture a falling acrobat,
Not fit to trap a passing thought, I think;
Let alone a persistent, creeping dread.
No safety in its sparse, fragile embrace.
If there’s no faith in it, then there are no dreams
To be caught, of course, I tell myself…
As though dreams could be stung
By such flimsy strings. I turn again
To the other side of the bed, the one
Away from the window, the darkened corners,
Where the certainty of the creeping nightmare
Weighs heavy on the duvet.
The dream-catcher has almost been out-dreamt:
And then, despite myself, near-somnolent,
I cannot help but wonder, of this web,
… Where sleeps the spider?
I frequently have nightmares. My husband gave me a dream-catcher to assist, and hung it by my side of the bed: he possibly had greater faith in its powers than I. And perhaps my lack of conviction has contributed to its redundancy. I have, consciously or otherwise, rendered it otiose and welcomed the nightmares to my bed.
But the same principle applies to all articles of faith. We banish the bogeyman when we forget him; we kill the Gods we ignore. Perhaps a little more faith in the device would allow it, as it were, to work its magic.