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Another Lifetime


Alice C. Bateman

Unusual experience involving all senses

Shoved up through subconscious

No thought-out pretences


I stand in a farmhouse, window to the past

The view of my childhood

Seen clearly at last


The frame is unchanged, fields slightly altered

The view from my fire-dream

Here's where I faltered!


The barn is on fire, a bright smell of fear

The sounds of the animals'

Pain in my ear


Must rescue the horses, first of our new farm

We cannot afford to

Let them come to harm


My husband has gone, on foot, into town

Concerned, I'm with child

And left on my own


Awake from my nap now, was not just a dream

I hear all the horses

Beginning to scream


Down the stairs, to the barn, just finished last fall

If I let it burn down

We could lose them all


I'm frightened, so frightened, flames fill me with terror

But the cries of the horses

Are drawing me nearer


Up the ramp, in the back door, be careful of falls

Can't lose this baby

Let horses from stalls


So smoky, can't breathe, and flames getting hot

Two more stalls, three more horses

I'll save the whole lot


What's happening - don't crush me, get OUT you great beasts

Sweet Jesus, I'm dying

My will I release


My God, all the guilt and the pain he'll acquire

To think me and the baby

Have died in a fire


It's the horses that killed me, in their panic to flee

Don't cry so, my darling

I have been set free

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