The poem “Woman Who Dreams” explores the eerie connection I sometimes feel with people of the past. “Old Bones” explores the idea that human joy and anguish are the same throughout history—only circumstances differ.


Woman Who Dreams

By: Sandra Bremser


Ancient mud bricks crumble under my feet as I enter the shallow cave.

A hard desert sun softens on ruined pueblo walls.

I pass my hand over antelope with stick legs

Picking their way toward an etched handprint.

Fitting my fingers into those left behind,

I try to touch the thread across a chasm of silence.



Perhaps one was here who ground corn and dreamed her children,

Who longed to find words to say her soul.

Was she awed looking up at the night,

Holding the cold and fire in her breath,

Being part of all there is-even now-

Though men have crafted time like spear points?

And knowing her daughter was born through her not to her,

That there was nothing she could save her from,

Did she cast her into the fire to find her power?

Juices for loving

And quenching thirsts,

Even her own?

As final blessing, when the sun dried the stream,

Did a transforming power envelop

The woman who dreams?

A birthright claimed in age.

Power of a womb past bearing,

Centered in self-knowledge.


Did a peace beyond attachment

Sustain the

Medicine Woman



Dreamer of Dreams?

I remove my hand from the glyph

To hold the dream in my palm.

Did she see the wind that would catch her powdered bones

And swirl them in a gust against a broken wall?

Did she dream my face?

Did she know my heart?



Old Bones

By Sandra Bremser


Tombstones knuckle their way

Over knolls of freshly-mown grass,

Marching the past to the toes of my shoes.

Puritans, farmers, babies, and wives,

Soldiers from the Revolution

Lie here.


We like to think their lives

As simple and clean

As bleached bones in pine boxes.

Yet, we all play our songs on notes

From the same keyboard,

That of being born human.


Soul pain seeps up through soil and granite.

Witch trials and failed crops.

Tomahawks and British rifles.

The touch of a lover.

Betrayal. Crushed dreams.

The pulse of a gaping hole where once was love.


Also blinding days of sun and joy.

Nights of promises kept.

Surmounting obstacles.

Outlasting enemies.

Overcoming fear.

Or not.


What good walking a cemetery?

Perspective can’t fill the gap in my chest.

And yet, my steps seem to beat cadence on a drum of sod

Mustering healing salves and potions,

Calling up wisdom that

Hovers over old bones.