Buffalo Night — A Dream

Why? Why won’t they leave me in peace? The two of them enter the room, talking animatedly, flicking on lights. He crawls into bed beside me, pulls the covers over himself, and falls immediately to sleep; she sits on the bed’s edge, depressing the mattress so I roll toward her. I curl my body in a semi-circle about the woman’s hips and try to reclaim the threads of sleep, but it is beaten back, away as she continues a ceaseless monologue. Cheek pressed to forearm, I blink eyes open, stare over rumpled sheets and coverlet, out the open window.

There’s commotion beyond the glass — a small crowd of people standing, gaping, murmuring. Blue and red lights strobe the night, and a policeman stands outside his vehicle, calling orders that go unheard, unheeded. Most surprising, though, is the buffalo.

I lever myself up on one elbow, legs caught, restricted by the woman’s presence and the bedclothes. Not one buffalo. Three. No, four — a furious mother and her calves. And all those foolish onlookers – pointing, exclaiming, snapping photos, ignoring the officer’s instructions — have come between mother and offspring. Oh, how the furious cow’s hooves churn the earth, how she stamps and snorts and bellows, readying her charge…

I am fully awake now, shaking the sleeping man beside me, interrupting the oblivious woman’s wandering speech, warning both of the buffalo’s imminent charge. Surely, certainly, the aim and speed and force of her trajectory will have her bursting through the bedroom’s wall…

A huge, dark fury, the mother charges toward the house, but veers off, plunging into the night beyond the window’s eye. But one of the calves has passed through the wall as if it were merely a suggestion, a veil. It trots about the room, stricken and bawling. Where before, there was the random threat of harm, the calf’s presence within the house is a veritable invitation.

But the man has arisen from his exhausted slumber to stand at the bed’s foot. Cupping hands about his mouth, he aims his voice at the knob-kneed calf and shouts. Although it should hurt — should burst eardrums as certainly as it rattles the window against its frame and bones within flesh – his shout does neither. It does, however, transport the calf safely back outside to its pacified mother.


“Buffalo Night” — C.Birde, 5/16


5 thoughts on “Buffalo Night — A Dream

  1. the persona is frustrated throughout this piece, from being kept awake to being endangered by oblivious onlookers bothering the mother buffalo. the “huge, dark fury” sounds like a serious threat. the tension breaks only at the end when the man wakes up, stands up, and makes a terrific noise. interesting stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you — I still have to work with this one…lots of “female” aspects…over-protective mother threatening to “charge”, chatty self-involved woman, and me, passive, wishing to “sleep” through it all until the danger is imminent; the two male aspects, the distant officer who is ignored by the crowd, and the man who awakens and “takes charge”. Maybe I need to wake up and “take charge” myself 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dreams can certainly be helpful in figuring out what is going on in the subconscious. i have had dreams that suddenly made clear what was going on in my “inner” life. as well, sometimes while writing “with the brakes off” i find myself tapping into the subconscious. but i have to be in a particular state of mind, not editing or thinking about form or any of that. that probably happens with you, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, sometimes, writing out a dream can create, for me, a sort of “professional distance” that allows me to grasp a deeper meaning. Although I thoroughly enjoy the embellishment and saturation that many of my dreams have, these sometimes obscure the message! 🙂


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