The Dream: I recur.
over and over again
fluttering like a penant
calling, ‘I’m here! I’m here!’
A tired old refrain.
I know you.
I’ve watched you work,
I respect what you do.
But you can’t catch me.
Sweeper: Not you again!
The sleeper is sleeping and there’s work to be done.
Now get in this dustpan – come along!
The Dream: Not so fast.
I shall hang about this bed.
I may not be designed to last
But I have questions for you yet.
With a job like yours
you should know oddities,
but you talk on so
about the weather
and sports teams.
Why so dull, please?
Sweeper: You know that it’s not my position to say!
Stop trying to duck and dodge out of the way!
It’s nearly dawn and I’ve had it up to here!
Get in this sack at once – do you hear?
The Dream: Not bloody likely.
I enjoy feeling lively.
I know what you did to the others –
turned them to cinders.
A dream is harmless and hardly hinders,
so why did you burn my sisters and brothers?
Sweeper: To keep the dreamers’ minds clear.
To keep them awake and free from fear.
I am the border between chaos and order.
What next? We’re wasting time here.
The Dream: One moment.
Something is not quite clear.
I know that you hate everybody –
that much is obvious.
So why protect the people,
and round us up to burn us?
For an agent of order,
you aren’t too logical.
Sweeper: I hate you more than I hate them.
That’s enough chatter. Now then.
It’s more than my job’s worth to talk to
things as old and unpredictable as you.
Do as you’re told, or I’ll have to make you.
The Dream: You can’t, sir,
so don’t blow it.
I think I see a pattern forming here.
That’s not the answer
and you know it.
When did you last get some sleep, dear?
I can see you haven’t.
The eyes show it.
Sweeper: All right, I admit to it!
I hate the people because they can dream.
I hate the dreams as I have none.
I’m sick of hearing dreams’ screams.
I hate the sleepers because they dream.
I’m just the cleaner here after the show.
Never the dreamer because I don’t sleep.
Always alone, here after everything leaves!
So what are you going to do about it, eh?
Why keep coming back here?
Either get in this bag or get out of my way.
The Dream: I remain here
to help you.
A long time ago
you dropped something and left it behind.
At last, you hear me. So.
Tell me the truth. I know you’re not blind.
Have you lost anything?
Sweeper: It’s hard to remember – I –
The Dream: It is I.
I am you.
I am the dream you lost.
I can see it has cost
you much humanity.
But even one with sanity
needs a little madness to make him whole.
I am the imaginary returning to you.
You’ve no need to be alone and lost.
Sweeper: Knock me down with a feather!
You come along with me, and I
will release your siblings’ ashes into the sky.
written by Hannah Adcock