Dreaming of Cinnamon at Ocean Grove

To Lou and Marilynn Spaventa

Bittersweet sad, expected words from home:
Our old dog Cinnamon's now free to roam
The seven continents, the Seven Seas,
Free as the air, freer than you could please.
That's why she turns up in my present dream,
Meeting two kangaroos by a dried-up stream,
Sniffing them, starting to bark, then towering
Into a lop-sided, lopped-limbed, gray-barked flowering
Gum tree, then back on all fours, down on the ground,
Kicked by the roos, in a pool, a whimper of sound.
They lollop off into the speckled eucalypt shade
Like Qantas logos, or the Australian Made
Triangular tags on the stuffed toys they get turned into.

Free to become a gum tree, a kangaroo--
Or chase or climb one--that sort of freedom hurts
Like chocolate, or wearing reversible hair shirts
(Your cinnamon-brown tan coat with the blackwood streaks),
Because it's in my dreams , and it's taken two weeks
For you to trot faithfully out to my call and reach
Me here, now stark awake by the pounding beach,
Across the Pacific from the one you loved to walk.

Now though, Cinnamon, at last we can truly talk,
Human to human or dog to dog, whichever
Works out as we try it out. However. Whenever.

John Ridland

(This was published in 1996 in a very small local magazine titled "They Stemp Little Feet")

If you've any comments on his poem, John Ridland would be pleased to hear from you.