'Psychic Dream, 1914' & 'Psychic Dream, 1991': Two Poems by Katie Amundsen


A novelist wakes in early morning from his dream, a sinking ship.

He thinks it’s a falling feather,

skin left behind with his waking

so that there might be room for more—

After sixty years, even in his death moment,

the single image left un-plucked

is that of a man in oilskins,

bent double beside a companion,


under the blow of a great wave—



I swam with the salmon rush.

Heads hit rock and white foam

where endings went missing—

I was up to the waist in us,

swimming against a stream

with the slick bodies of my cohort.

The telephone rang as if underwater.

The telephone rang louder

and wobbled a bit.

So I woke in answer,

my baby girl at the foot of the bed,

telephone to her cheek.

But Mama always dreams of fish

when someone’s having a baby.


Katie Amundsen is a professor of composition living in Wisconsin. She has recently earned her MFA in poetry from Wichita State University, and you can find her work published or forthcoming in Swarm, The Mid-American Review, and SLANT.

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