I dreamt daemonic predators launched

 a toxic fusillade of mayhem,

 burnt bodies lie in bone-deep

 shock like half the army weeping

 at Gettysburg and Antietam. 

 Strangers huddle together like celebrants

 on New Year’s Eve; instead of merry-making

 pandemonium, monastic silence fills the air.

 Windows shattered into shark’s sharp teeth,

 clouds of white flakes rain down on sooty rubble

 of crumpled houses, shadows of ghosts and singed

 scarecrows with arms extended wander in a daze.

 A natural-born leader mounts a hill of debris,

 shouting “Don’t panic, I’m in complete control!

 He makes a list writing orders of the day with paper

 and pencil; malignant rays zapped all motherboards,

 electrons left without their ions, lightning flashes

 preclude ever booting up.

 Women and children are told to hunt for cans of Heinz

 vegetarian baked beans and bottles of Vintage Seltzer.

 Men are volunteered to climb a hill where the G.W. Bridge

 used to be rolling 50 gallon empty drums, beating:

 dot dot dot, dash dash dash, dot dot dot to every passing

 sailing ship with sails unfurled billowing in the wind. 

 Survivors are invited to sail to Cuba where crops

 have been rotated and fish are abundant in a sea

 filled with undersea music and mermaids at play.

 They’ll start all over, study mistakes of the past,

 learn how to live with one another

 in an incarnation of love.

 An overlooked star guides the way.

 Greatly relieved I awaken with a smile,

 and try counting in Spanish from uno to diez.  



Milton P. Ehrlich