from Paul George’s Dream Journal, October 16, 2014

I’m in a courtroom or exam room or in a old time general store, and the doctor/judge/owner looks me dead in my face. Boy, you’re somebody’s daddy and your shit is broke in every place that counts. This is going to cost you.

I nod and nod and nod, but just cuz he says it don’t make me sure.

Who can read a x-ray or paternity suit without somebody holding their finger up under and around the lines sounding out the words, tracing every shape? I know it’ll cost me a leg.

I look down at my broke shit, and I’m still me in my mind, but when I see my dusty lace up boots, my sack-cloth dress I know to the judge/doctor/owner I’m Miss Celie.

Daniela (Shug?) comes in and holds a pretty brown baby girl up to Miss Celie (me), and something inside my (Miss Celie’s) broke bone shit jumps.

My (Miss Celie’s) heart says she’s mine, but I need to hold her.

Only the one holding a thing knows how it got into their arms. Well, except for in dreams where shit appears and disappears and gets broken just cuz it feels like it.

I (Miss Celie) ask the woman that might be her (my) baby mama (Daniela/Shug) Where’d you get your little girl? What’s her name? Can I hold her?

The judge/doctor/owner sits on his side waiting on us to make a decision or get out his face.

The mama puts the baby girl in my arms. She’s mine. But, depending on whether it’s the Miss Shug (Daniela) or me (Miss Celie) who says the baby’s name it sound like Olivia or Pauline. The doctor/judge/owner looks at all of us and smiles.  Now isn’t this a love fest?

Ashley Mack-Jackson is a native Hoosier, and the Co-CEO of Word As Bond (www.wordasbond.org). She is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Department Chair of English for Ivy Tech – Central Indiana. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals like ReverieDrumvoices Revue, and Callaloo.

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