My Czech father, dead for eight years,
shows up in my dream early this morning.
He touches my hand, tells me to remember
the Village of Lidice,
the Prague Spring,
the Velvet Revolution.
I say I only recall a little about this history.
He raises his eyebrows at me, the way
he did in life, and suggests I look it up.
It’s the past, I yawn in my dream, long over.
My father reminds me that Marc Chagall said
Time is a river without banks
and these things are happening right now,
in different places, events churning up the water,
the water flowing out into the world —
And his voice is so insistent, I open my eyes,
open them wide. What I see is a river
rushing all around my bed.