A poem by Fred Pollack
In the dream, I both was and wasn’t
an intolerable uniformed bureaucrat
(but everyone wore uniforms)
responsible for lawns around a ministry.
I didn’t mow them myself.
I roamed with whistle and clipboard, supervising
the unreliable Socialists
who tended them. My technique
was lightning inspections at all hours
throughout the twelve-hour day.
I tallied bags of fertilizer.
I allocated water.
I bowed at ladies with bustles and parasols,
strolling the grounds; saluted gentlemen;
clicked heels for soldiers, spoke when they asked
of my old and present battles.
In the dream I rested on a bench and dreamed.
A crowd had gathered and was dancing.
At first they wore traditional garb,
then factory rags, then scanty alien things,
then next to nothing, nothing.
I remonstrated, blew my whistle.
They laughed, but that may just have been high spirits.
In the dream I could not assimilate
the fact that my Ministry, all the ministries,
were gone; there was only grass
I screamed at them to vacate.