I’m dreaming I’m on a wild roller-coaster ride

soaring past an array of galactic milky-white clouds

catapulting off for a soft landing with the screaming

of those left behind ringing in my ears.

Looking around all I can see is what Gertrude Stein

once said about Philadelphia: “There is no there there!”

I then find myself sitting behind a palm frond

in a darkened chapel with Callimachus’ designed

acanthus leaves decorating the wall, dim sounds

of an acapella choral thrum faintly in the air.

I can barely hear what sounds like a eulogy

for a well lived life. A few anecdotal memories

resonate with who I am, becoming more familiar

when mourners are amused by what a pack-rat

the deceased must have been, collecting a mish-mosh

of cluttered memorabilia: cross pens, vintage toy cars

and planes, Zippo cigarette lighters, Indian pennies

and a mountain of ephemera bearing traces of my imprimatur.

I perk up my ears when they report finding a stash of poems

that can’t possibly be mine when I catch fragments of what editors

had to say: “plainspoken durable narratives…” each line a bouquet

of the mouth,” “eloquent, innovative and finely crafted.”

When I actually hear my name, I leap out of my chair,

protesting: “You’re making a whole foofaraw out of poems

that couldn’t belong to me, a bumbling scribbler!”

But I’m invisible and my voice cannot be heard

as I awaken feeling like an imposter.

Milton P. Ehrlich